Lambert: Benteke can help Bent

Lambert: Benteke can help Bent

Published Sep. 15, 2012 9:16 a.m. ET

Paul Lambert hopes Aston Villa's ?7million transfer deadline day capture Christian Benteke can bring the best out of Darren Bent.

Benteke became Villa's eighth new arrival of the summer after two initial bids had been rejected by Genk for the Belgium international.

Villa manager Lambert is banking on the physical presence of the 21-year-old striker aiding Bent who has sometimes been an isolated figure during the opening phase of the campaign.

Lambert, whose side entertain Swansea on Saturday, said: "I think we needed a target man because the club never had someone to maybe get hold of the ball.


"Darren, Gabby (Agbonlahor) and Andreas Weimann are all different types of players, but I thought we needed someone to try to get hold of it and he's a real presence.

"I watched him the other night playing for Belgium against Croatia and he was excellent - and if you look at that Belgium team at the minute, they're really really good.

"If you can hold your own in that company, then you'll do all right. He's only 21 so he'll make mistakes like everybody else, but he'll be something different.

"It's all a big culture shock to him at the moment. I think moving to England will be a big thing for him and getting a grip of the language first and foremost.

"But the good thing is he's played at a really high level with the national side."

Lambert added: "Can he bring the best out of Bent? I think that was one of the ideas in my thinking. We needed that presence up top, something different, unpredictable, that could get us up the pitch.

"I think he'll put himself about. He's physically strong. He's a big lad and he's got a good technique about him.

"The times I've watched him, he's been in physical battles and he's never ducked away from them. He'll take a lot of pressure of Darren and off the team with the size of him.

"If he teams up with Darren, if he can get the flick-on, then fine, but I think he'll take up a lot of his opponents' time with the size of him.

"But I don't want to place too much pressure on him. He'll need help from Darren too. It won't just be him coming in to help Darren, or Gabby or Andi.

"Whoever is playing up front will need to help each other."

Benteke's arrival represents the biggest fee Lambert has spent on a player during his managerial career.

He said: "It was all right because it wasn't my money! I've never been used to working like that. But he's young, that's the thing, and hopefully he'll keep on going and keep on growing as a player.

"You're just never quite sure how people are going to do, you're never quite sure how it's going to work.

"You hope they hit the ground running and hope they integrate with the rest of the group and everything goes well for them. I think he'll do really well for us."