Date: 19th July 2013 at 6:19pm
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Christian Benteke has withdrawn his transfer request (well we didn’t really accept it did we) and put pen to paper on a new deal keeping him at the club until next season…sorry…contractually until the summer of 2017.

Speaking to the Official Site (there is also a free mini video) Paul Lambert said:

‘I had a full and frank discussion with Christian on his return to training this week regarding his future. It’s my opinion that the best thing for Christian is to remain at Villa. He enjoyed a terrific first season at the Club and can use that as a platform to hopefully enjoy more success this season. I’m delighted, having time to re-evaluate his future, Christian has decided to commit to the Club. I’m sure the supporters are every bit as delighted as me to have him on board and raring to go.’

Personally, and maybe I’m flying against people here, I’d have left him on the contract he was on and re-addressed it next January or next season myself – but I’m in the position where I can be picky.

If he wanted to stay then, and subject to continued growth reward him and extend the contract, but I hope to the Footballing Gods (yes them again) as part of extending his deal it doesn’t involve a minimum release fee or anything like that and if it does it’s for far more than the muted £25million we wanted this summer.

We’ve played hardball with Barry previously, we played hardball with Benteke – let’s hope this extended contract is a sign of a change from the player or really plays into our hands in the coming summers.

I also hope to never hear the name of his agent again either.

Benteke himself said ‘bugger, I thought Spurs were interested.’

Well, no he didn’t, he explained he now knows we are in Birmingham:

‘I spoke with the Manager when I returned to training and we had a good talk. I’m very happy to be back here in Birmingham and at Aston Villa, and to sign a new contract. This is a great Club and it has given me a lot. Now I have to give back to my teammates and the fans who have always been right behind me. Everyone knows what we have to do now – be better. I need to be better than last year.’

All the words in the world won’t mean a thing to a large number of fans going off reactions since he handed in the transfer request – however:

‘This is a great club and it has given me a lot. Now I have to give back to my teammates and the fans…’

Is key and the only way to do that Tekkers is to perform and give your all as you did last season. Do that again, grow as you did last term and have the same kind of impact and very few fans will begrudge you a bloody good move to a top club next season or the season after.

Our anger was 12 months down the line – some say players have to make the most of their careers and move when they are hot – I’d say if you sign a four year deal and have belief in yourself then you’d back yourself to succeed for 24 months before moving on.

Show it was a mistake and you’ll find we’re a forgiving bunch who get behind players who give their all for our cause.

Hopefully we can all put this behind us now and move on, and have a far more entertaining and successful season this coming year.

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