Laursen: I would have relished battle with Benteke
Martin Laursen has heaped praise on man-of-the-moment Christian Benteke, insisting he will be a "massive success" for Villa.
Laursen has been thoroughly impressed with the majesty and might of Benteke up front, calling him the "focal point" of the team.
He even sent a note to Media HQ after the Liverpool win with the simple message: "Wow Benteke!"
Benteke backs himself in a battle with any defender while Laursen was the same in his dealings with top-flight strikers.
Laursen admits he'd have relished a tussle with Benteke, although he's unsure who would have won.
He said: "Christian Benteke is already a key player for Villa. If he plays well, Villa play well.
"He was brilliant at Anfield and I'm hoping for more of the same from him at Stamford Bridge. I think he's great.
"I have already talked a lot about him whenever I've been asked about Villa in my media work.
"He is so, so strong, he works his socks off, he's a part of everything Villa does.
"He's the focal point of the team. He's involved in throw-ins, corner-kicks, everything really. He is very, very important.
"I know the fans love him, they have really taken to him and he'll love that respect from the crowd. It's an amazing feeling - I know all about it!
"I know what it's like to be a favourite with the fans. He has it now. It's a massive honour and you feel so proud.
"You know that you have done something good when they sing your name. You can sense that they are happy with you and what you're doing for the team.
"You want to continue doing well for them - you want to hear them shouting your name all the time, in every game and many times during the game!"
As for the 'clash of the titans', he added: "I think Laursen v Benteke would have been a good clash! I'm not sure if I could have won that battle?
"Unfortunately, no-one will ever know. The fans will never see it.
"But he's a great player. He's perfect for the Premier League in the way he plays. He will be a massive success for Aston Villa."
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