Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Benteke can be Villa star - Agbonlahor

Christian Benteke, pictured, has been tipped for a big future by Gabriel Agbonlahor
Christian Benteke, pictured, has been tipped for a big future by Gabriel Agbonlahor

Gabriel Agbonlahor is predicting a "big future" for Aston Villa newcomer and fellow striker Christian Benteke.

The Belgium international has quickly showed his potential since joining in the summer and his two goals at Swindon on Tuesday night sealed a 3-2 win for Villa and a place in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.

Agbonlahor, who scored Villa's other goal against the Robins, has been impressed with the 21-year-old, and said: "Christian gives us a different option and he can hold the ball up similar to when John Carew was here. He can also win a lot of aerial balls and he can finish as he showed at Swindon. It was world-class finishing."

He went on: "When you've got a striker like Christian who can finish the chances, it is a big boost. You know if he gets those sort of opportunities, he will put them away.

"The good thing is he is only 21 and can get better and better.

"People were surprised when Christian first came here that he is 21 given his physical stature.

"He is still learning but game by game he will get better and better. He is still learning in training, is working hard and you can tell by his performances how good he is. He can have a big future."

Benteke was another player who, while lacking in Premier League experience was signed for his potential, by Lambert who admits Villa are in a period of transition.

Agbonlahor knows it is the duty of the more experienced players to shoulder their share of responsibility during the inevitable ups and downs.

He said: "I thrive on being an experienced player. When things aren't going well, it is important the experienced lads don't crumble. That's what you need in a side to help you through tough times. We've got a lot of those (experienced) players and some younger players who have played quite a lot of games in their career despite their age."

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