Date: 6th June 2013 at 1:35pm
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Aston Villa had a disappointing 2012-13 season, and only escaped relegation due to strong end of season form. Paul Lambert`s young side are still in transition, with a lot of promise but a lack of steel when it comes down to the wire. One of the only positives of the campaign just past was the form of Christian Benteke, whose 19 Premier League goals in his debut season in England kept the club in the top flight.

A few eyebrows were raised at the £7 million transfer fee that Villa shelled out for the Belgian attacker; even more when Benteke took Darren Bent`s position in the team. Aston Villa`s Premier League odds will be boosted should Benteke stay, but a number of clubs such as Arsenal and Tottenham are being linked with a move for the striker.

It is only natural that big clubs should be looking at Benteke. 19 Premier League goals in his debut season is highly impressive, and the forward has shown exceptional physical qualities and sure-footedness in front of goal.

Villa have been guilty of selling some of their better players in recent years, with the departure of the likes of James Milner, Gareth Barry, Stewart Downing and Ashley Young resulting in a plummet in form. The sale of Benteke would surely lead to another season of toil towards the bottom of the table.

Football news indicates that Spurs are tracking Roberto Soldado and Leandro Damiao, while Arsenal are thought to be interested in Gonzalo Higuain. Despite this, even if the north London pair do not move for Benteke, he will surely have other suitors abroad. His current valuation must be £20 million at least, but Villa would have a real job on their hands replacing the forward.

Villa need Benteke as their talisman, and if they can keep him by offering him a new improved contract, the future could be bright for the Birmingham based side. Resist the money, and keep the club`s best player.