West Ham should enquire about the availability of Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke in the summer.
The Hammers have an array of top attacking talent among their squad following last summer’s additions, however Benteke could provide that extra bit of quality that has been lacking in moments this season.
Villa’s towering Belgian has not had the best campaign, riddled with injuries and struggling to recapture the scintillating form that he displayed in his maiden year.
After arriving in the Midlands from Genk in 2012 the 24-year-old took the Premier League by storm, scoring 19 goals in 34 appearances. This form attracted interest from a host of top clubs, including Tottenham and Arsenal, but Villa managed to hold on to their star man after slapping a £20million price tag on his head.
Benteke has only managed to score 13 goals in the two seasons since then, though, which has seen his stock decrease and he is seemingly unhappy at Villa Park.
The striker has proven pedigree in England’s top flight and although he’s suffered with injuries which have led to two underwhelming seasons, the old adage of ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’ springs to mind.
Once he gets a consistent run of games under his belt he will surely find his feet again but playing in a struggling Villa outfit that creates very few chances means he’s unable to thrive.
He has all the attributes to be a world beater and if West Ham could get him back to his prolific and at times breath-taking ways he’ll be worth his weight in gold. At 24, he still has his best years ahead of him.
Carlton Cole looks set to move on from Upton Park in the summer which means the Hammers may be on the lookout for someone to fill the void, and Benteke would be perfect.
Imagine a strike force of Andy Carroll, Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho and Benteke; now that is one to be feared. Any combination of those forwards leading the line is going to cause opposition defences problems.
Furthermore, Benteke possesses a ruthlessness in front of goal that has deserted Sam Allardyce’s outfit in recent weeks. He could be the key to taking West Ham onto the next level and helping them breach that top-six.
With Aston Villa perched just three points above the relegation zone and fighting for their lives, the future of their prized asset may depend on what happens in the next 10 matches.
Tim Sherwood would not want to let a player of his quality go, but it’s unlikely he’d have a choice in the matter if they are to go down. Although even if they manage to stay afloat, Villa could still opt to sell the under-performing striker to raise funds for Sherwood to bring his own players in.
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