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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Lambert: No problem on Benteke

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says it took him less than a day to convince Christian Benteke to withdraw his transfer request.

Last Updated: 19/10/13 at 11:04 Post Comment

Paul Lambert (right): Talks with Christian Benteke easy

Paul Lambert (right): Talks with Christian Benteke easy

Lambert is considering throwing the striker back into action against one of the clubs who chased the Belgian sensation last summer when Villa host Tottenham on Sunday.

Benteke scored 19 Premier League goals in a superb debut season in England last year, sparking interest from a number of clubs.

Spurs were strongly linked to the Belgium forward and reportedly made an enquiry - though not a formal bid - while Benteke himself handed in a transfer request amidst feverish speculation.

However, Tottenham's interest was rebuffed and Lambert returned from his summer holiday to quickly convince the popular 22-year-old to stay put and remain loyal to the club who gave him his big break.

"It took me a day to sort it," said the Scot. "I bolted the door and I had Mike Tyson in one corner!

"He's a good guy and I never had a problem. I never said anything that will shock you, I just had a chat with him to see where he was.

"He's still really young in football terms but he was good about it. Randy Lerner (chairman) and Paul Faulkner (chief executive) have been great and they left it to myself to decide what was happening. They never said anything.

"I speak to Randy a lot and Paul every day. They trusted me which is great.

"Christian probably had it from all directions and was asked all sorts of questions but the crowd are brilliant with him. I said to him: 'Keep doing what you're doing and you'll be fine'.

"I think (the transfer request) was out of character. He has a good family behind him and he's not that type of guy. He's a nice, really humble guy and if he keeps working hard we can see where his career ends up.

"Nearly every team alive came in for him. Some teams you don't bother with. Unless I hear it from someone's mouth I don't think differently.

"You can read speculation all you want but unless I hear it directly it won't faze me. It never really prayed on my mind.

"I'm pretty sure it was the speculation that got to him. Speculation, whether it's wrong or right, they see it in black and white and believe it must be true."

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