At least he'll still be wearing this shirt next season - Scott Heavey
Everyone's favorite bird cage liner, The Daily Mail, released a very short and trollish article in which Christian Benteke's countryman Romelu Lukaku urged him to quit Aston Villa and move to a bigger club after the season. Naturally, we are panicked and upset.
It's something that's been in the back of my mind since the beginning: at some point Christian Benteke is going to grow too large for Aston Villa. When Benteke signed in the summer, Aston Villa were not yet facing a difficult relegation battle and the hope was that he would blossom, over time, into one of the better strikers in the Premier League. It turns he may already be that - at least based on form and goal scoring. Only five players in the division have more goals than the Beast.
It's not too hard to put the puzzle pieces together from here. Top players want to play for top teams with other top players. Top teams play in top competitions. This would be the Champions' League. This would not be something that is in spitting distance for players in claret and blue.
Benteke's big mouthed agent has left the door open to a summer transfer request. Now fellow Belgian and forward for league overacheivers West Bromwich Albion by way of Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku, is calling for Benteke to move on for the good of his career as soon as possible. It's great advice from a guy who has played exactly eight career games for a big club but that's neither here nor there. It's difficult to deny that Benteke should be able to cash in on what has been a remarkable season from an individual standpoint. It's easy to argue that he'd be ignorant not to try.
While I'm sure Baggies fans are having a good laugh at their temporary star taking a dig at West Midlands rival Aston Villa, that's really all there is to this story. The Daily Mail is a terrible fishwrap that I wouldn't lay across a puddle of bum vomit. Congratulations to them for giving nervous, twitchy Villa fans like myself a minor headache with their nine sentence 'article'.
Christian Benteke could very well leave in the summer. He would fetch quite a nice transfer fee. He could also decide to stay another year or more in some sort of debt of gratitude to Paul Lambert for giving him the chance to become what he is today. I might need a lot of drugs to convince myself the second thing I just said is true. if Benteke's breakout season ends up being enough to keep Aston Villa in the top flight we should be grateful to him regardless of what happens this summer. That said, Villa fans appear to have plenty to sweat about.