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Heskey: Benteke may not cope at new club

Former Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey has questioned whether Christian Benteke can recreate his impressive 2012-13 form elsewhere.

The Belgian forward scored 19 goals in 34 appearances in his debut Premier League campaign for Villa, but recently handed in a transfer request with Chelsea and Tottenham thought to be interested in his services.

However, Heskey, who ended a four-season spell at Villa Park by joining Australian side Newcastle Jets in 2012, is not convinced that the 22-year-old will be able to have as big an impact during his second season in England.

“Benteke’s handed in a transfer request so that’s going to be very interesting. He’s a young lad who has ended up fourth on the goalscoring charts so he’s had a great season,” he said.

“Everyone is comparing him to (Didier) Drogba, so you don’t know if there’s a little comparison there.

“It’s going to be difficult for him whoever he goes to. With only one season under your belt and within the best league in the world, can you cope with it season-after-season? Only time will tell.”

Benteke proved one of the bargains of the season for Villa, arriving for £7 million from Genk and playing a huge role in Paul Lambert’s side avoiding relegation.

It is thought the Midlands club would now only accept offers of around £25m for the Belgium international.

Wed 10 July, 2013
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