Stan Collymore begs Aston Villa not to sign 'broken' £27m man

26 Sep 1998:  Stan Collymore of Aston Villa in action during the FA Carling Premiership match against Derby at Villa Park in Birmingham, England. Aston Villa won the game 1-0. \ Mandatory...

Christian Benteke has been linked with a return to Premier League strugglers Aston Villa, despite his dismal form at Crystal Palace.

Christian Benteke of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and West Ham United at Villa Park on May 09, 2015 in Birmingham, England.

Stan Collymore has implored Aston Villa to think twice about bringing Crystal Palace’s misfiring targetman Christian Benteke back to the Midlands, speaking to The Mirror (14 January, page 51).

Despite scoring just four Premier League goals for Roy Hodgson’s side since the start of the 2017/18 season, a striker who looks a shadow of his former self continues to be linked with a dramatic return to where it all began for him in English shores.

The Express and Star reports that Aston Villa are interested in offering Benteke the chance to rediscover his golden touch in front of an adoring Holte End, though his £125,000-a-week wages threaten to scupper a deal.

 

Collymore, however, fears that Villa are letting their hearts rule their heads as they look to bring in a striker capable of keeping them safe from the drop.

“I don’t share my fellow fans’ optimism. I always felt the lad (Benteke) didn’t have the personality to kick on and fulfil his undoubted potential,” the Villa hero said of a forward who, while fearsome in stature, remains a gentle giant at heart.

“He’s quiet, surly and seems to lack the joy of the sport. Liverpool and Crystal Palace have broken Benteke and, even though he may feel a frisson of excitement at reprising the goals he scored at Villa, you can’t just switch it on and off like a tap.

Christian Benteke of Palace and Lewis Dunk of Brighton during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion at Selhurst Park on December 16, 2019 in London,...

“That ship has sailed – for him and the club.”

Benteke initially looked like a superb addition to Crystal Palace’s frontline when he sealed a £27 million move to Selhurst Park in the summer of 2016, though he failed spectacularly to build on a 17-goal debut season in London.

But with Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi, Cenk Tosun and Krzysztof Piatek looking more and more unlikely to arrive, could Aston Villa’s desperation lead them to a familiar face?

Crystal Palace's Zaire-born Belgian striker Christian Benteke reacts after missing a shot on goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Crystal...

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