Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor: Christian Benteke more than goals

Gabriel Agbonlahor says Aston Villa teammate Christian Benteke offers more to the collective cause than merely a goal threat.

Christian Benteke is a goalscorer, but he is also much more than that.

A brute of a striker, the Belgium international is an attacking focal point around which Aston Villa can build their offensive plans.

There is no doubting that they are a better side with Benteke in it, with his very presence helping to unnerve opposition defences.

He can be relied upon to keep rivals on their toes and on the back foot, allowing others in claret and blue to prosper if he is not firing on all cylinders.

That was the case on Sunday, with Benteke producing an eye-catching display in a 2-1 victory over Leicester City which helped to highlight what he is all about.

He may not have found the target against the Foxes, but teammate Gabriel Agbonlahor says the 24-year-old brings other attributes to the table and has offered a welcome boost to the Villa ranks following fitness and disciplinary troubles.

Agbonlahor told the club’s official website: "It's great to see Christian back after his injury and then his suspension. He's a big, big player for us.

"He offers a lot more than just scoring goals - look at his assist to Alan Hutton on Sunday. That shows that if he doesn't score he adds something. He contributes a lot of assists.

"And to be fair to him, he could have had a hat-trick on another day. He just came up against a goalkeeper in really good form.

"We are very, very happy to have him back. And he has his sharpness back too. It's just great news for the club, no question."

  SeasonGoalsGoal AssistTotal Att AssistTotal Scoring AttAppearancesMins Played
Christian Benteke 2012-2013 19 4 53 104 34 2,823
Christian Benteke 2013-2014 10 2 47 67 26 2,128
Christian Benteke 2014-2015 1 1 3 19 6 445

Benteke has some way to go if he is to better the numbers above, but ridding himself of niggling knocks should aid him in that quest.

When working to the peak of his powers, he can be virtually unplayable and an absolute nightmare for Premier League back fours.

Paul Lambert will be hoping to see plenty of Benteke’s best over the coming weeks, with Villa having enjoyed a welcome upturn in fortune heading into the busy festive period.

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