Punt of the Week - Gameweek 14 - Christian Benteke
After my recent run of big scoring punts, such as Giroud and Silva, from nearer the top end of the league, I’m really pushing the boat out and going for a player whose team currently sits in the bottom three this week.
Aaron and Simon will be hoping Emile Heskey’s replacement can live up to expectation and fire Aston Villa up to mid-table security. That’s right, my Punt of the Week is Christian Benteke.
Villa’s joint top scorer on 2 goals has hardly set the world alight thus far, but to be fair neither have a Villa side in the bottom 3 and desperately lacking goals. Benteke has shown promise and is currently leading the line for Belgium in a team that can boast names such as Hazard, Kompany, Vermaelen and Fellaini. He is starting to show some improved form and Lambert will hope those performances will turn into goals and boost his sides bid for survival.
Villa host rivals Reading at Villa Park in gameweek 14 with both sides desperate for a win. Benteke has been the shining light and over the last six games has carried the threat for Villa. Only Liverpool’s Suarez has had more touches in the six yard box and against a Reading side that struggle to keep it tight at the back, Benteke could be the man.
If Lambert can turn Benteke into last season’s Grant Holt, at 6.5m he could prove excellent value for money.
Villa face RDG, qpr and STO in the next three, and will need to start picking up points if they are to survive. Benteke has been involved in two thirds of Villa’s goals so far so if Villa do find the net he won’t be far away.
A striker who has 2 goals in 12 appearances and in the bottom three is not going to be top of anyone’s shopping list. Only 0.5% own this player and unless Lambert can get his side winning some football matches I can’t see that rising drastically anytime soon.
Signing players from lower league clubs is great for balancing the books but have they got the quality to perform and supply the service to Benteke to carry the team? On the evidence so far it doesn’t look promising.
Looking at those same three fixtures, if Villa were to lose to Reading, then face a resurgent QPR under Harry Redknapp, then a tough Stoke side who give nothing away, it could be a tough few weeks for the Villains.
Looking at strikers in that same price bracket, you could get Fletcher, Crouch, Kone, Holt or Rickie Lambert who will offer the same if not better options for your money.
I know this pick will not be for everyone and truly lives up to the “punt” name. Emile Heskey, although a slow starter for me, has the potential to be a success in the Premier League. Of course now is the time he has to stand up and be counted.
With Lambert seemingly lost all confidence in Darren Bent, he is now putting all his faith in the Belgian to produce the goods. Maybe one for the watchlist or for those chasing down league leaders, an all or nothing transfer.