Aston Villa fans 'can't wait' to see Benteke return, says Lambert

The Scot is convinced the Villa Park faithful will hold no grudges against the Belgian, who extended his deal at the club despite handing in a transfer request earlier this month

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes the club's fans cannot wait to see striker Christian Benteke return to action.

The 22-year-old handed in a transfer request earlier this month, with the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea thought to be considering a summer swoop for his services.

However, he performed an unexpected turnaround on Friday, withdrawing his request and penning a contract extension to his deal with the Premier League club.

And, after supporters chanted the Belgian forward's name during Saturday's 2-2 pre-season friendly draw with Wycombe Wanderers, Lambert expects Benteke will be warmly received.

"You heard the crowd, they can’t wait to see him back again which is great," he said. "It’s great. It puts everything to bed, the speculation. ‘Is he or isn’t he? What’s going on with him?’

"I had a good chat with him from Thursday and he’ll be another massive player for us. I just spoke to him, we had a really good chat."

The Scot went on to insist there will be no hard feelings toward the former Genk forward, citing his age as a reason for his recent behaviour.

"He’s only 22 years of age, he’ll make mistakes, like everybody else," he continued. "Everybody makes mistakes throughout their life. You’re asking somebody of 22 years of age who has a massive responsibility on his shoulders.

"I knew what was going on from day one, it’s never nice. But he’s a really good guy, a really nice kid and the most important thing is getting him back in the side and that will happen during the next few weeks."