Lambert acted quickly 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: 18/10/13 at 23:32 Post Comment

Christian Benteke: Could return for Aston Villa this weekend

Christian Benteke: Could return for Aston Villa this weekend

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

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 Barclays Premier League goals in a superb debut season in England last year, sparking interest from a number of so-called bigger clubs.

Spurs were strongly linked to the Belgium forward and apparently 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."'

Lambert added: "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."

Such speculation never concerned Lambert, even when the phone was ringing off the hook as he sunned himself abroad somewhere.

"I was not aware we got a bid," he revealed. "That's why it did not bother me.

"I was on holiday. It was nothing, that's why I was not bothered.

"His career has escalated very quickly, probably quicker than he thought. He has so much of his career in front of him and a season before the World Cup is vital for any player."

As for possible renewed interest next summer, Lambert said: "It depends on how he does in the World Cup but it is a good problem to have."


New Sky Bet customers: Claim free £5 bet every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

o Brendan is full of sh!t, who'd have thought it eh?

fatbob30
Carroll accuses Rodgers

P

resumably, you wanted to keep the version of Downing that was never seen at Anfield. The one that another manager has managed to re-create. The one you passed over.

badwolf
Rodgers: I wanted to keep Downing

T

he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

mufc phil
Football On TV: Jake Humphrey

Footer 365

Nemanja Matic says Chelsea happy to maintain their five-point Premier League lead

Midfielder Nemanja Matic was happy to take a point after Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

Roberto Martinez delighted with 'immense' Everton's 1-0 win at Crystal Palace

Roberto Martinez believes his side can now reach their true potential after ending their winless run at Crystal Palace.

Premier League: Chelsea maintain five-point lead after 1-1 draw with Manchester City

Chelsea remain five points clear at the top of the Premier League after a 1-1 draw with second-placed Manchester City.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company