Aston Villa news

Agbonlahor tips Benteke for top

February 20, 2013
By ESPN staff, Ian Edwards

Gabriel Agbonlahor believes team-mate Christian Benteke can do better than Arsenal or Tottenham - but hopes the Belgium international stays at Aston Villa for at least another season.

Christian Benteke, Gabby Agbonlahor
AssociatedChristian Benteke has excelled since moving to England in the summer

- Blog: Keeping hold of Christian

Benteke has been one of the few bright spots in a season of toil for Villa this season, with the summer signing from Genk netting 11 goals despite the club struggling towards the foot of the table.

The Belgium international has been linked with summer moves to Arsenal and Tottenham, but his fellow Villa striker Agbonlahor feels Benteke should be aiming higher.

“Christian has shocked a lot of people. No-one really knew much about him when the gaffer signed him. He has done so well.

“He’s one of the players of the season, for me, so far,” Agbonlahor told Sky Sports News. “He’s going to get linked with the top clubs, especially because of his age. He’s young.

“He’s gifted in what he can do, so he’s going to be linked with a lot of clubs. I think he’s good enough for even higher than them (Arsenal and Tottenham). He has showed that by the way he plays with his composure for a big guy and he has quite a bit of pace as well.

“There are many aspects of his game that are at the top level but he’s still learning his trade here and enjoying his football, so hopefully he stays here.”

He added: “He’s up there with the best. Coming into the Premier League, I don’t think many people knew much about him but he has adapted. A number of teams in the league would love to have him in their side.

“He works hard in training and you can tell the fans love him because he is the first name they sing. They have taken to him. He’s a good guy around the changing room as well. He’s learning more English and he’s a top guy off the pitch as well. I think the gaffer thinks that.”

Agbonlahor accepts that Villa may feel they have little choice but to cash in at the end of the season.

“We will have to wait until the end of the season to see what the club decide,” he said. “It’s not for anyone else to decide. It’s going to be down to the club and what their plans are for him.”

Agbonlahor, who was speaking at the announcement that Villa’s ‘Acorns Day’ would take place on March 16, also revealed he is ready to challenge for a return in the side at Arsenal on Saturday after recovering from the virus that forced him out of the home victory over West Ham.