Christian Benteke can have 'big future' says Aston Villa team-mate Gabriel Agbonlahor

 

Gabriel Agbonlahor is predicting a “big future” for Aston Villa newcomer and fellow striker Christian Benteke.

Villa boss Paul Lambert secured the services of one of his leading summer targets in Benteke on the final day of the transfer window in a £7million deal.

The Belgium international has quickly showed his potential and on Tuesday his two goals at Swindon sealed a 3-2 win for Villa and a place in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.

Agbonlahor, who scored Villa's other goal against the Robins, has been impressed with the 21-year-old who has been preferred up front to Darren Bent in recent games.

"Christian gives us a different option and he can hold the ball up similar to when John Carew was here," he said.

"He can also win a lot of aerial balls and he can finish as he showed at Swindon. It was world-class finishing.

"When you've got a striker like Christian who can finish the chances, it is a big boost.

"You know if he gets those sort of opportunities, he will put them away.

"The good thing is he is only 21 and can get better and better."

Agbonlahor added: "People were surprised when Christian first came here that he is 21 given his physical stature.

"He is still learning but game by game he will get better and better.

"He is still learning in training, is working hard and you can tell by his performances how good he is. He can have a big future."

Benteke was another player who, while lacking in Premier League experience was signed for his potential by Lambert, who admits Villa are in a period of transition.

Agbonlahor knows it is the duty of the more experienced players to shoulder their share of responsibility during the inevitable ups and downs.

He said: "I thrive on being an experienced player. When things aren't going well, it is important the experienced lads don't crumble.

"That's what you need in a side to help you through tough times.

"We've got a lot of those (experienced) players and some younger players who have played quite a lot of games in their career despite their age.

"Hopefully we can all stick together and then get the results everyone wants at the club."

Agbonlahor knows Villa have to improve their league form but will head to Sunderland on Saturday with renewed confidence.

He said: "We've got to try and improve on our league form and go and get three points versus Sunderland.

"This win (at Swindon) will give us a lot of confidence for the games coming up.

"People might say we've beaten a League One side but it was a tough place to come and they are a good team.

"The players can be proud of their performance against a side which, after all, had won at Stoke in the competition.

"It was good to get it out of the way because it was potentially a tricky tie."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders