Paul Lambert got a lot of stick at times last season but no one can argue that his best signing was Christian Benteke and no one can argue that he will do whatever it takes to keep his young side happy and protected.
Nacer Chadli is a name which has been doing the rounds frequently over the last couple of weeks with some big sides interested in signing him. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have been mentioned but if Aston Villa can tie him down, it will be another superb piece of business by Lambert.
Benteke is still a very young man at just 22-years-old and Lambert may want to make his life slightly easier next season by putting another high profile Belgian into his squad, creating some extra familiarity for his main man.
Benteke is going to be a target at Aston Villa if they manage to keep him through the next transfer window and the addition of Chadli would mean one more friendly face and sympathetic ear through the patches where Benteke may not be scoring so regularly.
Even if Aston Villa don’t succeed in their attempts to keep Benteke at the club, Chadli is still a player who could improve their midfield and attacking play in the final third in a big way.
He seems to have it all as a winger, he’s good on the ball, dribbles well, plays good simple passes and most importantly has pace. He also scored 16 goals for FC Twente last season which shows he can be a very prolific player.
The suggestion in the press at the moment is that Chadli is going to be used as a tool to try and keep Benteke but it’s important Aston Villa and Lambert don’t overlook the fact he’s a very good player in his own right.
There are other English sides that would step all over Aston Villa just to offer Chadli a squad place which means signing him could be a lot more effort than it’s worth for the club if Lambert is just looking for another way to keep Benteke at Villa Park.
Lambert has to be praised for thinking outside the box in terms of subliminal effects over how he can keep his star player, but Chadli mustn’t be overlooked in terms of the value he can bring to the current Aston Villa side.
Chadli will be in a very similar position to Benteke if he comes to Villa in the respect that he will have to go through the same process of settling down, settling into a new culture and picking up the language.
The pair should just naturally draw together as friends and professional colleagues which is a benefit for the club.
If it’s a case of signing a Belgian for the sake of signing a Belgian then there are plenty of cheaper alternatives Lambert could focus on but he does deserve some credit because a Chadli-Benteke combination next season could be awesome for the club.
Should Villa go after Chadli just to keep Benteke?
image: © little-pete