Villa striker gearing up for new season.
Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has backed himself to handle the pressure after a summer which almost saw the youngster leave the club, reports The Daily Mail.
Benteke burst onto the scene in the Premier League last season with a number of highly impressive performances for the Midlands club.
The Belgian’s goals proved vital in helping the club to retain their Premier League status and led to Villa manager Paul Lambert giving him a central role in the team.
Lambert’s decision came as a surprise to some as it also resulted in the club’s record signing, Darren Bent, being dropped to the bench.
Bent know looks likely to leave the club, with Fulham, Newcastle and Crystal Palace all thought to be keen on his signature.
But Benteke also nearly followed him out of the Villa Park exit door this summer after the player handed in a transfer request.
Benteke was reportedly hopeful of pushing through a move to Tottenham or Chelsea but ultimately was persuaded by Lambert to put pen to paper on a new deal.
The striker knows he now has a lot to live up to if he is to be forgiven by the club’s fans but he has insisted that he is confident that he will be able to step up to the mark.