Leandro Bacuna explains why Christian Benteke can't leave Aston Villa

The Belgian striker's recent goalscoring form has led to increasing speculation surrounding his future.

Aston Villa’s Leandro Bacuna has argued that Christian Benteke can't leave the club, otherwise he will have no one to give him a lift into training.

Bacuna was speaking to the Daily Mail after Benteke’s first-half brace helped Villa to a 3-2 home victory over Everton on Saturday afternoon, with the Dutchman himself assisting Tom Cleverley for the third.

The Belgian striker, 24, has been in stunning form since Tim Sherwood’s appointment as manager, bagging 11 goals in the past nine games to push the club towards Premier League survival and help set up an FA Cup final encounter with Arsenal.

However, speculation surrounding his future as begun to resurface in recent weeks, with the likes of the Telegraph reporting that Liverpool are now weighing up a £30 million summer bid in an effort to solve their scoring problems.

Sherwood has since stressed that it will take a sizeable fee to acquire his star man’s signature but has also admitted that he will not prevent him from leaving if he does demand a move down the road.

In addition, chief executive Tom Fox revealed last week that the club will look to tie the powerful front man down to a new deal at the end of the season, telling the Guardian: “I talk to his agent on a fairly regular basis. We’re not doing anything on it right now – we’re focused on the end of the season and the FA Cup – but I’m sure we’ll be having conversations with Christian and his people in the summer.”

Those comments will have come as a big relief to Bacuna, who lives just a minute from Benteke and paid him regular visits during the striker’s six-month spell on the sidelines with a ruptured Achilles, which forced him to miss both the summer’s World Cup and the first two months of the season.

The versatile wide man even gets regular lifts into training from his close friend, which he readily admits is one of the reasons for wanting him to stay.

“He needed a few games to get back to his best after injuries but he is scoring goals and we need a player like him to finish the games off,” said Bacuna.

“It is great to have someone like him. He is really confident at the moment and everything he touches turns to goals.

“We are good friends. I live only a minute away and when he was injured I'd go around his place and tell him to keep his chin up. He can't leave — I need a lift from him into training!”

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