Helenius saddened by Benteke

Aston Villa summer signing Nicklas Helenius has expressed his

disappointment at the news that Christian Benteke is looking to

leave the club.

Villa confirmed last week that Benteke, scorer of 23 goals in

all competitions for them in 2012-13, had handed in a transfer

request.

Should the Belgium international depart, it could clear the way

for June arrival Helenius to establish himself as Villa’s main

frontman.

But the Denmark forward – who has netted twice for his new club

on a pre-season tour of Germany which Benteke, given extra time off

until July 18, has not been a part of – is keen for the pair to

play together.

Helenius, quoted by the Birmingham Mail, said: “We have not been

given much information about why he is not joining us for

pre-season, but apparently he has put in a transfer request.

“It is down to the club and player how they want to handle the

situation.

“It is not something that I take much joy from even though it

improves my chances.

“We need the strongest possible squad for the upcoming season

and I was looking forward to being in the same side as Christian

Benteke.

“In that respect it is sad what is happening around Benteke as

he was definitely one of the players that I was looking forward to

observing and learning from.”