Ron Vlaar names Aston Villa star who must perform for Premier League survival

Ron Vlaar believes Christian Benteke’s goals will be vital in Aston Villa staying in the Premier League.

Speaking to the official Villa site, Vlaar admitted that ‘massive player’ Benteke would have to keep scoring goals if they are to secure top flight survival.

The Dutch defender said: “Christian is a massive player - and unbelievable for us. He is our main target. He can score goals and we need his goals to stay up.

“I wouldn't like to play against him. He certainly keeps you sharp in training as well - and he makes you better. He was unlucky to get that big injury but he is back now and firing in the goals for us.”

Belgian international Benteke, 24, is now on 10 league goals for the season, having netted eight in his last six games.

His rejuvenation since Tim Sherwood was appointed as head coach is a joy to behold, and Vlaar is right to single out the once in-demand striker as being key to any survival charge the Villains may win.

It has been a tough season for the forward, under the regime of Paul Lambert, with injury keeping him out of the opening weeks of the campaign. He did not make an appearance until matchday seven, and did little of note before being sent off four games later - without a goal or assist to his name.

Following his three game suspension, the striker did score on his return - in a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace - but then a long drought started, when he netted just once against Manchester United in a run of 13 games.

It has been since the Sherwood appointment that Benteke has rediscovered the form that he first showed upon his arrival in England, and if he keeps it up, Villa should have no trouble staying in the top flight at the end of this season.

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