Aston Villa and Belgium were yesterday hit with the terrible news that Christian Benteke has suffered an Achilles injury and will be out for “a minimum of 6 months”, meaning the striker will miss the rest of this season, the World Cup and the start of next season.
The injury is a huge blow for his club and country but, more importantly, it is a huge blow for the lad himself, who will now miss out on the biggest tournament in the football world.
Fortunately, with the Villans eight points clear of Cardiff in seventeenth, they’re already as good as safe but it looks like it will be a difficult end to the season without our main goalscorer.
On the bright side, it may offer Paul Lambert the opportunity to try something different and maybe give someone else a chance in the team, although I suspect he’ll want safety guaranteed before he thinks about that. If the Villans can secure safety, it would seem pointless for Lambert to play Grant Holt, who isn’t likely to be at the club next season. While Benteke’s injury is a definite blow, especially with Kozak out of action, it could provide the perfect opportunity for Lambert to give Nicklas Helenius or Callum Robinson a chance, although whether that happens remains to be seen.
Of course, it also means that Benteke will definitely be at Villa next season so at least the fans can look forward to seeing him at Villa Park again.
It is possible that he won’t miss that many games, given the timing of the injury but, in reality it is a bad injury and he could well miss a significant chunk of next season. In any case, Lambert will probably need to bring in some cover but at least he has the summer to do so.
The Villa team really hasn’t had much luck with injuries, with Charles N’Zogbia, Jores Okore, Libor Kozak and now Christian Benteke suffering long-term injuries. Let’s hope for a swift and full recovery so that Benteke will be back, banging the goals in, soon.