When you’ve scored 19 goals in your debut season in the Premier league, you’re officially hot property. When you add to that the fact that the goals were netted for a club that strived against relegation for a good chunk of the time, you’re going to be looked at by other clubs. Chuck in the fact that you’re on 20 years old, and you've got as player in demand. It’s no surprise then that Tottenham have already apparently shown their hand in the pursuit of Belgian striker, Christian Benteke.
Long before the end of the season, as Benteke’s scoring exploits grew, the summer was always going to be a tough time for Vills. Manager Paul Lambert, who astutely plucked the young Belgian from relative obscurity at Genk, will have known that tying the player up on a long term deal would have been of the highest priority. Benteke himself has been very quiet as to his intentions, but each passing day without a contract being agreed only encourages other clubs’ interest.
With Tottenham keen to demonstrate their resolve to kick on next season – not only to their fans, but also just as importantly to a certain young Welshman – acquiring Benteke would be a good start. With Adebayor reportedly ready for pastures new, and Defoe perhaps reaching the declining part of his career, the need to have the goal threat sharpened is clear. It has been rumoured that Defoe would be offered in part exchange for the deal, and whilst the England international still has goals in him, Villa fans would see it as a poor replacement.
It may be however that Villa are preparing the ground should Benteke move on. They have been linked with Bulgarian striker Ivelin Popov, who currently players for lesser-known Russian club Kuban Krasnodar. Whilst Villa fans may say “Who?” I guess very much could have been said when Lambert brought in Benteke. Of course, it may be that Benteke decides to stay at Villa Park for at least another season. Personally, I think this is likely. If so, Tottenham will have mind to consider other options. Valencia’s Roberto Soldado also appears to fit the Villas-Boas criteria, and a bid for the Spaniard may not be far away.