Christian Benteke was a man with a point to prove this week. So far this season, the Belgian forward has rarely looked close to the player once tipped with a £25m plus move to Liverpool. However, he grabbed an unlikely hat-trick on Tuesday, during the 3-3 draw with QPR.
Tim Sherwood backs hat trick hero Christian Benteke to fire Aston Villa to safety
(Video highlights) Aston Villa 3-3 QPR: Benteke hat-trick rescues point for Villa in six-goal thriller
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The 24-year-old has scored just 11 goals for club and country since rupturing his achilles in training in March 2014, with eight of those coming since the start of last month.
His progress suggests that he’s edging closer to a return to his full potential, although of course he’s not the only one to be struggling. Just as players enjoy a purple patch in their careers, so they endure plenty of difficult spells as well.
In the list below we count down ten players who have flattered to deceive this year but remain top talents nonetheless…
10) Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)
It’s clearly taken him several months of playing regularly to fully recover from last season’s injury woes. However, his hat-trick this week only proves that Villa could be well clear of the relegation zone if he’d been playing at his best.
9) Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Impossible to stop in Europe but far from a £28m man in the Premier League. Everton took a big risk when they splashed the cash on their former loan star at the summer and will be disappointed that their faith has only been rewarded by eight top flight goals.