The prolific Villa forward looks ready for the campaign ahead after a hat-trick against Crewe last night.
From the moment Christian Benteke handed in a transfer request Aston Villa played their hand to perfection. To lose such an outstanding young talent at such a crucial time in Paul Lambert’s project would have been a terrible blow.
And yet just days after that push for a move to Tottenham Hotspur, the Belgian signed a new deal to remain with arguably the most exciting young squad in the Premier League.
Those thinking last season’s goal-scoring exploits were a one-off may be cutting a substantial slice of humble pie come the end of next season; in fact they may already be eating it. Because in his second game since signing that new deal, Benteke scored a hat-trick in last night’s 5-1 win over Crewe Alexandra.
In a game of outstanding strikes, those scored by Andreas Weimann and Leandro Bacuna may take the plaudits. But Benteke’s third was a fantastic full-stop on a fine individual performance – a low effort curled expertly into the far corner.
That the Belgian’s first two goals owed much to the fine play of Weimann and Karim El Ahmadi demonstrated exactly what this Villa side are all about. While Benteke’s goals get the headlines, it is his ever-improving teammates who often supply the chances.
At the end of last season there were glimpses of what was to come at Villa Park. Those glimpses may soon be common events.
You can see all the goals from last night’s match below:
image: © little-pete