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Soccer Premier League

Christian Benteke Stuns Tottenham, Chelsea With Aston Villa Stay

Benteke looked set to depart after handing in a transfer request at Aston Villa

David Richard – USA TODAY Sports

After a summer of uncertainty that was intensified by his transfer request, Christian Benteke looks certain to remain with Aston Villa after signing a new contract with his club.

The Belgian international was widely expected to move with strong interest from Tottenham and Chelsea, who seemed willing to pay Benteke’s heavy price tag. But after an apparent meeting with Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, Benteke committed his future to the club and will be a threat to all in his path next season.

The Belgian’s goals were the difference for Aston Villa last season. Relegation threatened, he was undoubtedly their player of the season. Maybe this does justify his prior intentions to leave, but it must not be forgotten that it was Aston Villa who gave Benteke his chance in English football. He was relatively unknown until his switch from Genk, but now he’s one of the most highly rated young strikers in Europe after a devastating season.

Tottenham will be forced into looking elsewhere for a striker this summer. Roberto Soldado and Edin Dzeko have been mentioned, but thus far no concrete offer has been launched. Dare I say, Leandro Damiao? The Brazilian is reportedly a long-term target of Tottenham, but apparently their interest has cooled as he isn’t progressing as they’d hoped.

Chelsea have missed out on several high-profile forwards this summer. With Ramadel Falcao, Edinson Cavani and others all linked, the Blues have not signed that star striker yet.

Wayne Rooney is a certain target, but Manchester United have so far been unwilling to cooperate.