Pretty much every summer since Christian Benteke departed Aston Villa, there have been calls and speculation linking him with a possible return to B6, and this transfer window is no different given reports that Crystal Palace are now ready to cash in and would accept in the region of £8million for him, to get the now 29-year-old off their wage bill.
Everyone knows what Benteke is capable of as we saw it first hand, but there’s the old saying of ‘never go back’ and many fans struggle with the idea of a return owing to how his goalscoring touch seems to have deserted him in recent seasons.
Whilst £8million is certainly in the right ballpark for a gamble to see if Tekkers could rediscover his form back at Villa Park, journalist James Rushton raised a good point when talking on the Birmingham Mail’s Claret & Blue Podcast recently, when mentioning the implications of any possible wage demands.
“You’ve got to consider the wage as well, if you’re bringing in a player that doesn’t fit inside Villa’s wage structure on £110k a week or whatever – unless he’s going to take a wage cut, which he could possibly do. If he’s coming into Villa to be the main guy, I mean, in 2016 that would be amazing; in 2020, I’m not so sure and I feel like the club should look in a different direction. £8 million sounds cheap when you consider the whole package; the opportunity cost – that takes £8 million away from a better winger, a better striker, even. If it’s taking £8 million out of another potential deal and a massive wage package, I’m not with it.”
Would You Take Tekkers Back Now?
Given any move for Benteke would be a massive gamble (since leaving 105 starts with 32 goals) in terms of the goalscoring touch returning, he would undoubtedly lead the line in a stronger fashion than what we’ve seen from either Wesley or Mbwana Samatta, and he’d still offer a greater goal threat than Keinan Davis.
Last summer I was against a return, but whilst he shouldn’t be our top option when looking for a far more reliable goal threat (and allowing Wesley/Samatta to settle properly and show us what they can and can’t do) I do think I’d take him now if he fell into line with our wage structure as a tide over.