Steve Bruce should look to Aston Villa’s past to solve one of their problems.
Aston Villa have an abundance of strikers at present, but only midfielders Albert Adomah and Conor Hourihane managed to reach double figures for goals this season. The need for a reliable finisher up top is evident.
Step forward Christian Benteke. The Belgian striker had three scintillating seasons at Villa Park from 2012 to 2015 that saw him score 49 goals in 101 appearances, before being snapped up by Liverpool for £32.5 million. This season has been a struggle as he has battled injury and falling down the pecking order at Crystal Palace. Consequently, Benteke could be available at a fraction of the cost that he left the club.
Additionally, at 27, there is little chance that last season represented anything more than a blip. Despite his failings in front of goal last season, Benteke still managed to secure 5 assists and won an average of 7.8 aerial duels a game, almost 3 more than any other Palace player. Even if his goal scoring boots weren’t there, his talent was.
Despite last season’s blip, Benteke will still prove expensive. Crystal Palace spent £27 million on him in 2016 and his star hasn’t completely dulled. They will be aware that Benteke is a striker with many years left in him and who is perfectly capable of returning to form in the future. Nonetheless, if Steve Bruce can convince him to return, it will be money well spent, especially if they are promoted from the top flight.
Thoughts, Villa fans? Let us know below!