Rudy Gestede is so far proving better in the air than Benteke

Aston Villa signed Rudy Gestede as a replacement for Christian Benteke in the summer.

Aston Villa’s new signing Rudy Gestede is proving to be more dominant in the air than Christian Benteke, winning more aerial duels and acquiring a better average than the Liverpool man so far this season.

Benteke all-but preserved Villa’s Premier League status on his own last season, scoring vital goals including a run of 12 strikes in 13 matches to pull the club away from the relegation zone.

Tim Sherwood would have loved to have kept him at the club for this season, however once Liverpool activated his release clause, there was nothing Villa could do to prevent him joining the Reds.

Benteke boasts height, power, pace, skill and prolificacy in-front of goal – traits which are hard to find in a striker and his exit left Sherwood with a tough task of finding a suitable replacement.

Gestede, formerly of Blackburn Rovers, was the man identified for the job but his impact so far has yet be rewarded as the West Midlands outfit sit in the bottom three with just four points on the board.

Despite everything looking fairly bleak, there is one area which holds encouragement as Villa’s new signing betters his predecessor in one very important attacking category.

  TeamAerial Duels WonAppearancesMins Played
Rudy Gestede Aston Villa 52 8 482
Christian Benteke Liverpool 51 6 495
Troy Deeney Watford 50 8 714
Sebastien Bassong Norwich 35 8 720

As per the table provided by Opta, Gestede has produced more aerial winners than Benteke having actually featured less in terms of minutes played in the Premier League.

Gestede’s 52 aerial winners is one better than the Liverpool man, two better than Watford’s Troy Deeney and a whopping 17 better than the next best in the league, Norwich City’s Sebastien Bassong.

Villa may have struggled so far this season, yet they have such a potentially dangerous weapon at their disposal and Sherwood must seek to take advantage of his striker’s main strength.

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