One to Watch - Christian Benteke
Name: Christian Benteke
Date of Birth: 3/12/1990
Former Clubs: Genk, Standard Liege, Kortrijk, Mechelen
League Appearances (Goals): 95 (32)
International Appearances (Goals): 9 (4)
Stat of the Day: Christian Benteke has had an average of 3.55 shots per match this season, yet only 0.27 goals per game
Player Profile: The production line of Belgium`s golden generation doesn`t look like holding up anytime soon as another promising Belgian talent has made its way onto the Premier League stage. Slowly but surely Christian Benteke is finding his feet at Aston Villa, as proven by his midweek strike against Reading, and the monstrosity of a professional footballer seems to have ousted Villa`s number one striker from their starting eleven. The powerful striker, as proven by his brutal brushing aside of Chris Smalling in their recent game against Manchester United, possesses so much physical dominance he had to bring ID with him to be allowed to play in youth matches.
Benteke`s international goalscoring form has been largely impressive and whilst his physical presence is easily one of his biggest attributes, his inconsistent goal tally in the Premier League could be a cause for concern. This hasn`t seemed to faze manager Paul Lambert, who has seemingly showed favouritism to his own signing, much to the annoyance of Darren Bent and some Aston Villa fans. Lambert seems persistent in keeping with Benteke`s raw talent and will be hoping he can fulfil his potential to help Villa climb further away from the relegation zone.
Christian Benteke came through the ranks at Belgian club JS Pierreuse from the tender age of six before moving to Standard Liege in 2004 and Genk in 2006. He spent three initial years at Genk but only featured in ten games for the club before he rejoined Standard Liege in 2008, where he scored three goals in nine appearances.
Two loan spells kickstarted Benteke`s career as the striker scored nine goals in twenty-two games at KV Kortrijk in 2009/2010 and six goals in twenty-three games at KV Mechelen the following season. He returned to Genk in 2011/2012 - playing against previous club Standard in his first game, which his new side won 3-0 - where he netted sixteen times in thirty six appearances.
Benteke`s international career began at a young age for Belgium, appearing twenty four times at youth level before making his senior debut in May 2010 against Bulgaria, after being picked for the squad by his coach at Kortrijk, Georges Leekens.
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