Stats: Has Sherwood's arrival provided Benteke spark?

Aston Villa At Villa Park

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has made Christian Benteke the focal point of his attack.

Since taking charge of Aston Villa, Tim Sherwood has spent a lot of time stating to the media how important getting the best out of Christian Benteke will be.

Benteke is Villa's main attacking threat and the most talented player in their squad, but he has struggled for goals and form this season.

The Belgium international scored just twice in 15 games under Paul Lambert, and that was a major contributing factor to why the side struggled so much during the Scot's time in charge.

Villa lacked any sort of cutting edge under Lambert and that ultimately cost him his job, with Sherwood taking over last month.

Sherwood has promised to deliver a more offensive style of football at Villa Park and he has made a reasonably encouraging start, with the Claret and Blues scoring three goals during his first three matches in charge.

Benteke has been crucial to their improvement as he has raised his performance levels under the new man at the helm.

Benteke has been given the responsibility of leading Villa's forward line and seems to be thriving under the pressure of being the most central star in the team.

  MatchGoalsShots per gameOn Target Shooting AccuracyHeaders won per gameChances created per gameTouches per gameFinal Third Entries per gameAppearancesMins Played
Christian Benteke Under Lambert 2 3 29.16% 4.5 0.75 41.68 3.375 16 1232
Christian Benteke With Sherwood 1 2.33 28.57% 11.66 1.33= 50.33 5.33 3 270

Benteke is now getting on the ball far more frequently than he was under Lambert's stewardship, while he is also proving to be better at creating chances for his teammates.

His most notable improvement comes in his aerial threat, though. Benteke has won an average of over 11 headers per game since Sherwood took charge, which is nearly treble what he was managing under Lambert.

It is a staggering rise which suggests that he is getting back to his physical peak.

The 23-year-old was a bludgeoning figure prior to an Achilles injury which he picked up at the back end of the 2013/14 campaign and it has taken him some time to get back up to speed.

However, now he is posing a threat to defences, Villa's chances of survival look greatly improved and Sherwood will be hoping that Benteke continues to progress at his current rate through to the end of the season.

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