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Aston Villa's 'saviour' could be off if he is unsuccessful

Aston Villa know they have to stay up this season, largely to retain the services of Christian Benteke.

Aston Villa midfielder Karim El-Ahmadi this week described teammate Christian Benteke as 'invaluable' - and watching his two goal show against Everton at the weekend it's hard to disagree.

Unlike the rest of the Villa team, Benteke genuinely looks top class, and at only 22 is a striker the club can build their future around. If they can just stay up.

He already has a superb 14 goals for Aston Villa in all competitions this season, plus 7 assists.

When you factor in the four goals he has scored for Belgium in World Cup qualifiers and friendlies and the four he netted for Genk before signing for Villa, he has found the net 22 times since the start of the season.

His Goodison Park brace really deserved to bring all three points, but Villa came up against his international teammate Marouane Fellaini who was in equally inspired form.

His impressive goals, like the belter he scored at the Hawthorns last month, are no doubt catching the attention of teams around the league, but clubs will realise they would have to pay around double the £7 million Villa paid for him in August, and even then the club would be reluctant to sell.

Last Autumn, Benteke made headlines when he said playing for a side like Arsenal was his 'dream', but his words were taken a little out of context. He wants to play at the very top level, but like Fellaini he wants to establish himself and improve his own performances by playing regularly.

As a key member of their side, for Villa to sell such an outstanding forward would be a suicidal lack of ambition, especially as there is no guarantee Randy Lerner would re-invest the money in new players.

However if the club can't get their act together quickly and start winning games, they run the real risk of not being able to keep hold of him in the summer.

Benteke devastating Championship defences is a scary prospect, but it's hard to see it getting to that stage. The vultures would come swooping for Villa's prize asset, trying to secure him to lead their line instead. As an international striker with Belgium, it's hard to see him hanging around.

Stay up, and Villa can begin spending and bringing players in of a similar calibre who can help the club move forward.

Right now the forward is doing all he can to keep the club up, he just needs a little help from his teammates. 

Villa fans are you fearful of losing Benteke if the club is relegated?

image: © little-pete

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