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Aston Villa can keep Benteke for at least one more season

| 10.04.2013

The need to trim the wage bill and the fact that contracts were coming to their end are both clear reasons why Aston Villa have been in a way forced to sell their star names in recent seasons, most notably Ashley Young and Stewart Downing.

However, with the wage bill now under better control, Villa are running a steadier ship and the need to sell players because of financial pressures has gone.

True, some of the higher earners still need to be cleared from their books and it would be no surprise to see the likes of Richard Dunne and Stephen Ireland depart in the summer, while Paul Lambert would probably not stand in the way of Shay Given or Darren Bent moving on either.

And should the right offer come in for Benteke, then he would leave too, but the difference being that Villa can stand firm with any asking price they desire.

Benteke has scored in his last four Premier League games and has netted nine times across his last 10 to give Villa a real chance of surviving the drop this season.

This has led to obvious interest for his services, with Tottenham seemingly at the front of a queue with a bid reportedly to be of about £15m.

He would be almost the perfect lone striker for their cause, but Villa would want more than double the sum they paid Genk last summer and may even value the 22-year-old nearer the £30m mark.

Meanwhile, with Belgium looking on track to reach the 2014 World Cup and Benteke currently their striker choice ahead of Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas, regular starts may be needed to retain this place.

Should he leave, Benteke is unlikely to enjoy the same regular run of games that he has at Villa, while his new club may not play to his strengths in the way that Villa do, which gives him every chance of looking his best.

Villa are now 1/4 to stay up this season and should their survival be secured, Benteke would be best served to stay for one more season and move on after the World Cup.

Keeping Benteke this summer may additionally help encourage fellow forward Andreas Weimann to sign a contract extension at Villa Park.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Author

Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.