Benteke: I’m very happy at Villa and want to stay

Christian Benteke has claimed that he wants to remain with Aston Villa.

The Belgian international forward has endured something of a tough time this year, with an Achilles injury suffered in March ruling him out of the World Cup.

He missed the opening of this campaign with the same injury, and only returned to match action at the beginning of October. The 24-year-old has looked somewhat off the pace, failing to find the back of the net in his first four games this term, and he was sent off in the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on November 2.

A frustrating start to the season, the former Genk man recovered, and he netted his first strike of the campaign on his return from suspension, scoring the only goal of the game in a victory away at Crystal Palace. He followed that up with an assist in the 2-1 win over Leicester, and he is preparing to take on Manchester United this weekend - who are on a run of six straight victories.

It has been a comparatively slow season by Benteke’s standards, having scored 23 goals in his debut season at Villa Park following his £8 million transfer from Genk, and it was that form that saw him linked with a £25 million move away from the club. Having been linked with the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham, the forward handed in a transfer request to the Villa management, before agreeing a new £50,000-a-week contract to ensure he remained at Villa Park.

He has since thrown himself into improving for Paul Lambert’s side, and he told the Telegraph that he now has no desire to leave the club, and is only hoping to repay the faith shown in him by Lambert when he brought the 24-year-old to English football.

“I’m very happy at Villa and I want to stay here in the Premier League,” the 18-capped international said. “My dream was always to play here and I hope to stay here longer.

“The manager signed me and gave me a chance. He gives me confidence and I try to give it him back on the field. We have a special relationship, he is really cool with me. He gives me a lot of freedom when I play and I want to repay him, the club and the fans.”

This will be welcome news to Villa fans, with the club struggling this season. With Benteke now back to full fitness and fully focused upon the task at hand, there is no reason why the Birmingham-based club cannot shoot up the Premier League table with their goal-hero leading the charge.

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