Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has hinted that his future may yet see him remain at Villa Park.
The Daily Mirror report that the Belgian forward was reflecting upon his side’s embarrassing defeat in the FA Cup final – an appearance that could still be his final one for the club – but suggested that they were still heading in the right direction. And his analysis seemingly implied that he may yet be sticking around.
“Arsenal were better than us. We need to realise the truth, and it’s a sad day for the players and fans,” he explained.
“If you want to take something positive, it’s the fact we are safe. Now we can look forward to try to build something strong,” he added.
The decision may scupper our transfer plans, as the Mirror suggest that we are the favourites to activate the £32.5m release clause in the 24-year-old’s contract. But, his desire to stay in the Midlands may be a blessing.
Benteke has experienced plenty of injury problems during his time in the Premier League. And while he has briefly shown glimpses of a true ruthless marksman in the latter stages of this campaign, it seems too large a risk to spend what will surely be a massive chunk of our transfer budget on a player that could spend months at a time on the sidelines.
There’s also the question as to whether his style would really suit us. Benteke thrives on aerial delivery and crosses – while we currently prefer to thread through-balls that split defences. Mario Balotelli couldn’t deal with this, and we’re not sure the Belgian powerhouse could either.