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Christian Benteke: The Next Victim of Money

An article on Aston Villa superstar Christian Benteke

By on Jun 08, 2013   5267 views   0 comments
Football Views - Christian Benteke: The Next Victim of Money
Back in the days of the Busby Babes, Bill Shankly and Herbert Chapman, football was about the beautiful game. Not the fame, not the transfer fees and not the ridiculously over-paid contracts. Those were the times when football was football, players would play simply for their love of the game, and victory. Most footballers today play for money, and fame. Previously, they played for passion and success. With money coming into the game more and more now, it will only be a matter of time when the winner of the league will be the team with the most money.

Some clubs have already built a squad with money. Take Manchester City for example, sitting in a comfortable mid-table position, posing no real threat but never facing relegation. Until Sheik Mansour comes along, and puts a lot of money into the club. Just look at the transfers in the Summer of 2009. Gareth Barry, £12 million. Roque Santa Cruz, £18 million. Emmanuel Adebayor, £25 million. The club were splashing money about wherever, without even looking for the best talent about. Over the seasons more and more money was invested in the club, and in a matter of seasons they went from a mid-table side to league champions, starting some of the best players in football. PSG and AS Monaco are other teams that have had money put into the club, and it has changed the way they play.

The days of having club legends stay at one side for their whole career look to be gone soon, or certainly at big clubs. Ryan Giggs, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard. All are players who have had a long career at top clubs. They've had no reason to move, they are loyal to the club. However, with the introduction of more and more money into football, these types of players will soon disappear, with clubs offering so much no player would turn down the offer to stay at their current side, moving from club to club. On the other hand, some clubs who have money don't always use it wisely, over spending on players without checking them out throughouly. If a club had a minimal amount to spend, thorough research and scouting reports would be completed, checking he is the right player to get. Now, teams just buy a player. If they don't like him, just sell him.

Examples of these sort of players are all around us, and it seems to be the strikers who damage their careers the most, not managing to score the goals to pay for their enormously large transfer fee and contract. Andy Carroll is a prime example. Playing for a mid-table team, Carroll had one exceptional season. There was no sign to show this form would continue, but he could certainly get the goals. Nevertheless, Andy was given the opportunity of a lifetime, signing for Liverpool for a staggering £35 million, more than the price of Hernan Crespo's move to Lazio, a side who knew the strength Crespo had on the pitch and the way he could change the outcome of games for Lazio. Unsurprisngly, Carroll failed to perform, and has currently only scored 6 goals in almost 50 games. He has since ended up at West Ham on loan, a team in a similar position to Newcastle, and once again, Carroll has hit form. Not the same form as he had at Newcastle, but much better than his performances in Merseyside.

Cristian Benteke had a solid 2012/2013 campaign, possibly saving Aston Villa from relegation, finsihing the season with 23 goals, the most scored by a Villa player since 2003, even when they are up the top end of the table fighting for relegation. Benteke has managed to score against the big teams, playing in a very young side, with the average age of the line-up throughout the season being just 24. So, with his performances, Benteke has been scouted by many top sides, as a possible signing in the summer transfer window. Benteke has had a similar season to Andy Carroll, being the star man for his team linked to a big move. But would a big move work, or would it backfire in a similar fashion to that of the 6'3'' Liverpool striker.

With the departure of Atletico Madrid's key player, who kept the side up with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, to AS Monaco, a move solely based on money, Atletico are now without a key striker. They have Adrian, a free signing who has proved to be a great capture, but many feel Arian doesn't have what it takes to be a lone striker, needing other players to be able to perform to the best of his ability. The spanish side are rumoured to have made an offer of £24 million for Benteke, a player who bought for just £7 million one year before. English football is known to be very physical, tougher than many other leagues, meaning many top players who have joined from abroad can often struggle in their first few seasons. Meanwhile, in Spain, skills and flair are alot more important, such as the technique of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Benteke is big, bulky and strong, perfect for the English game. But does he have the pace, agility and ball control needed to dominate the Spanish leagues. If not, Benteke could become the new Andy Carroll, not worth the money.

Another club linked to Benteke in many newspapers and on the internet is Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham Hotspur are in a similar positon to Liverpool, albeit one or two positions ahead in the league table. Tottenham has publicly expressed their interest in the striker, even offering England striker Jermain Defoe and cash to retain the services of the Belgian. Tottenham's season has been affectly greatly by Gareth Bale, a fast, explosive winger who can both score and cross an excellent ball. Aaron Lennon also features regularly on the other wing, with Jermaine Defoe, a small, nifty player managing to use his height and speed to get into the box quickly to get onto the crosses. This is a key feature of Spurs' tactics and gameplay. Benteke is very different to Defoe though, and if he couldn't adapt to the style of Tottenham, which is likely, he could also be a flop there.

Cristian Benteke seems to be the key man for the Aston Villa side, performing to his maximum ability while getting the recognition and praise he deserves within Aston Villa. However, I feel a move away could affect, and damage his performances and footballing career. With Aston Villa successfully avoiding the drop, Benteke could still play in the Premier League while on great form. The young side of Aston Villa could also be great in a few years, after picking up the skills and experience needed, meaning staying at Aston Villa could be the best move for him.

But will Christian Benteke become the next victim of money?

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