Christian Benteke enjoyed his first season at Aston Villa last year scoring nineteen goals. The Belgian international submitted a transfer request at the end of the season and it looked like he would be headed out of Villa Park. Things have recently changed, however, with the striker withdrawing his transfer request and inking a new contract extension that lasts until 2017. Although some think he is ready for new challenges, I believe this was the right choice.
The amount of goals Benteke scored last year is an impressive number, especially for a player in his first season with the team. The composure he shows in front of the goal demonstrates skill beyond his years, and one can only expect him to improve next season. Despite his goal-scoring and skills, Benteke is still only 22-years-old and still has a lot to learn in the English Premier League.
Making a move to a bigger premier league club could have been good for him, but there would be a lot of risk for both sides. From a team’s point of view, this is a player who has only played one season in the league. His ability to score goals is undeniable, but a lot changes when a player joins a new squad. He might not have the same chemistry with the other players or might not fit into the system that well.
Those risks are big for a price tag of £25 million, and I don’t think many would go for that. As for Benteke, some of the risks above could affect him as well. Tottenham Hotspur was reportedly close to signing him, but was not willing to pay the full amount, offering additional players in the deal. Benteke is used to being the focal point of the attack, and with the way Gareth Bale controls the attacking third for Spurs, the combination might not have worked well.
Benteke made a smart decision when he decided to extend his contract. He will have a couple of more years to really cement his place as a top striker in the league. If he continues scoring goals freely, his price will only increase, and bigger clubs will be interested. His inclusion in the Belgian National Team will also help his improvement, with many big name players from the premier league there to give him advice.
Overall, Benteke’s decision to stay at Aston Villa was the most beneficial to all parties involved. Villa get to keep a potent striker whom they can build around and ultimately improve their position in the league. Benteke gets some stability where he can enhance his skill and increase his soccer attractiveness.
The two seem to have a good relationship, which was key to the contract agreement. Christian Benteke will be around at Villa for a little longer where he will score many goals and, in a few years, make that big move where he could become one of the stars of the league.