Andy Gray suggests the challenge he feels will be difficult for Sherwood

Former Aston Villa striker Andy Gray feels Tim Sherwood has got his work cut out in a specific area of the football club.

Former Aston Villa striker Andy Gray told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that Tim Sherwood is facing a real test if Christian Benteke leaves the club this summer.

Benteke has a well-publicised release clause of £32.5 million, as covered by the Daily Telegraph, which means any buying club has a clear figure if they want to come in and offer the Belgian an opportunity away from Villa Park.

“He’s got a release clause and if someone meets it then he’s going. It’s as simple as that,” he told talkSPORT.

“Players like Benteke don’t pop up every now and again and for Villa to find another one would be extremely difficult – I know Tim will do everything he can to encourage him to give them another season at least.”

Can Sherwood rise to the challenge?

If a club with Champions League football in the bank and an arguably higher global profile than Aston Villa makes a formal offer for Benteke, it could be very difficult for Sherwood to get back the attention of the player.

His challenge will be finding someone in the transfer market who offers something similar in terms of everything Benteke is about as a striker and the style he offers to Aston Villa’s attack.

Sherwood is a very passionate manager so he shouldn’t have any trouble selling Aston Villa as a football club to any possible new signing.

Where he’ll have to work extra hard is finding the right player, who is available and who falls within the bracket of what Aston Villa can afford in terms of new players.

There are a lot of boxes that the gaffer has to tick if Benteke leaves but he’s certainly not the sort of coach who will back down from the challenge.

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