As the Benteke sage continues into it’s second week, there is another European side that has had to deal with a very similar problem like Aston Villa. Dortmund have had issues with Robert Lewandowski throughout June and earlier. Lewandowski continuously tried to leave Dortmund and complete his dream move to Bayern Munich, he talked to the press, the board, transfer requests, he did just about everything he could to get himself away from Dortmund. Did Dortmund conform to his actions? No, they were firm and clear, they told Lewandowski that he will stay and honour his contract at the club. Then next season he could leave for free. It’s a bold move by Dortmund, they could’ve easily gotten something in the high 20 million euro range for such a talented player. But they decided that in order to keep the pressure on Bayern Munich, they couldn’t sell another star. Recently Lewandowski has spoken to the media and announced that he has accepted his fate at Dortmund and will be happy to play for this season.
Now, can Aston Villa implement a similar policy with Benteke?
I actually think Aston Villa could pull it off, as long as they follow Dortmund’s foot steps. Where Dortmund bullied by Lewandowski? Not at all, they even signed another striker in Aubameyang. Dortmund, like Villa want to progress the team, and you can’t do that if you sell your best players. In a way Aston Villa can control the Benteke situation more. Benteke still has 3-years left on his contract, the World Cup is coming up and (like the rumours suggest) Aston Villa aren’t afraid to fine him. However, you can also argue that Benteke is a different animal to Lewandowski and it may be more difficult to control him. Perhaps, but I think that World Cup starting place is the biggest motivation for Aston Villa. Lastly, Lambert is a clever guy, he even played for Dortmund; and due to his unpredictable nature, he may replicate Dortmund’s plan.
There is no question that Benteke won’t be at Villa Park for a very long time, the maximum is one more season and that too is looking very unlikely. But as the saga continues, it will be interesting to see what sort of approach Aston Villa will opt for, will they keep Benteke or will he leave?