Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert wants 'reality check' for Benteke progress

With speculation rampant that the Belgian striker could look to leave the club this summer, his manager observes that he must prove himself over more than one season
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has suggested that star striker Christian Benteke should have "a reality check" and prove that he is not a one-season wonder.

The 22-year-old produced a stellar debut season at Villa Park, his 19 league goals playing a huge part in avoiding relegation, which has sparked interest from a number of top clubs, reportedly including Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.

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But Lambert – who paid Genk £8 million for Benteke's services last summer - recommends that the Belgian think carefully about how much he has left to learn before he considers trying to force a move away from the club.

"I don't really 100 per cent know what's happened but he's got three years here at Aston Villa and the club have always come first," the Scot told TalkSPORT when asked about talk of Benteke wanting to leave.

"He's had one of those seasons where he's never really been injured and never been suspended except the last day.

"It's a unique thing and he's got to remember that he's only 22 years of age – he's got so much to learn.

"He's only a kid starting out and he's going to have ups and downs. Once he starts to play 400 or 500 games you might think: 'Yeah, he's a right good player'.

"I think sometimes we have to have a reality check here. This lad's only been in Britain for 10 months. He's got the status at Aston Villa and everybody loves him."