Aston Villa and the Belgian national team have suffered a major blow with the news that striker Christian Benteke has been ruled out for the next six months due to a ruptured Achilles tendon. He has now been ruled out of the World Cup, where he was expected to compete with Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea for a first-team spot. Benteke has been one of the enormous success stories for Villa’s recruitment division, as he was signed for just £ 7 million from Genk. He was last valued at £ 25 million with clubs like Tottenham and Chelsea showing interest.
Even though an official offer did not come for him last summer, it was expected that both Chelsea and Tottenham were expected to make huge money offers for the player who still has four years left on his contract. He scored 23 goals in all competitions in his debut season. This current campaign has seen much more struggles from the player, as he has gone through drought spells that have extended to several matches. Still, he has scored significantly better than the likes of Roberto Soldado and Fernando Torres, who struggle for form at Tottenham and Chelsea respectively.
Villa manager Paul Lambert lamented this injury to the star striker, which could end the positive season for Villa.
“It’s a terrible blow both for Christian and for the club. But he’ll work hard because that’s what he does and he’ll come back for us stronger than ever next season,” said Lambert. Benteke’s international teammate Vincent Kompany expressed his support through a message on Twitter. “Wishing you all the strength you need Christian Benteke and I hope you will recover quickly! We’re all with you together!” said Kompany. Despite this supposed poor form, Benteke has scored 10 league goals and remains as one of the top strikers in the league.