Benteke request proves loyalty is dead

Tuesday 9th July 2013 6:56

Christian Benteke: Transfer request leaves a real sour taste

Christian Benteke: Transfer request leaves a real sour taste

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Christian Benteke's request to leave is a huge kick in the guts for Aston Villa and proves that loyalty is dead, writes FanZoner Tom Davis.

Benteke was always destined for great things and you would never want to deprive him of that. But to attempt to force a move away from Villa Park just over 10 months into a four-year contract is hugely disheartening.

"Unless an offer the club can't refuse arrives, why shouldn't he remain with us? It's not in our interests to sell him and we can reject any advances we want."

Those were my words only last month, which, having seen his name touted around to half the clubs in Europe, were quite right. He had a contract with us - still has, even.

"That is about the only ounce of integrity left in transfer markets," it continued. "That is until player demands and agent influence comes into play."

Despite the speculation, I thought as long as we turned down any offers he would still be here come September. The only way he would leave is if he demanded a move away.

Surely that wouldn't happen? Not after everything the club has done for him, the confidence Paul Lambert has shown in him and the emotion the fans have poured into him.

One more season with the club is all we hoped for, as a show of gratitude if anything else.

It was a huge gamble to sign an unknown entity from an obscure league, yet to build a team around an unproven player in a season that nearly got us relegated was an even greater risk.

In the system we played, he was always going to be the focal point. As a lone striker given the task of scoring goals, he was never not going to be the hero.

But now he's nothing but another pantomime villain in that depressingly clichéd action flick you saw at the cinema the other week. Its title? 'Modern day football'.

After two weeks of watching model professionals contend for the trophy at Wimbledon, you do start questioning yourself as to why it is you have this affiliation with the sport.

But it's here now and it's here to stay, which is more than can be said for Benteke. Aston Villa is still standing and will strive to further itself under Lambert's bright leadership.

No player is bigger than the club after all and naturally, as one door closes, another opens; be it for Nicklas Helenius or whoever else may arrive in the coming months.

So whilst thanking him for the memories and goals last season and wishing him the best of luck at his new club, whoever they may be, it is done with both eyes firmly on the future.

His transfer request to leave the club might indeed be sad, although not because we're losing such an influential cog in the wheel. No player is irreplaceable.

Loyalty in football is fiction: it doesn't exist. I actually put faith in a modern day footballer to show a hint of it to a club and its fans and that is the sad thing.

You can follow Tom on Twitter at @tomdav1991 - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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