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Redknapp: Benteke my pick for Young Player of the Year
Harry Redknapp on Christian Benteke.
15th Apr 2013
Redknapp: Benteke my pick for Young Player of the Year


Brown

QPR boss Harry Redknapp has picked out man mountain Christian Benteke as his choice for PFA Young Player of the Year.

Redknapp has been thoroughly impressed by the way Benteke has taken to the Barclays Premier League following his move from Jupiler Pro League in Belgium.

The former West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham boss thinks the 23-year-old has performed like a "battle-hardened veteran."

Nominations will be made later this month with a gala dinner in the capital held several days later.

Villa have scooped the award twice in the last four seasons - Ashley Young in 2008-09 and James Milner in 2009-10.

Gary Shaw won it in 1980-81 while Andy Gray emerged successful in 1976-77, in a season when he also won Player of the Year.

Kevin Beattie of Ipswich Town was the first winner in 1973-74.

Redknapp believes Benteke would be a deserving recipient, while he also offered praise for Matt Lowton.

He said in his Sun on Sunday column: "I think we all accept the Player of the Year is a three-way battle between Gareth Bale, Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez .

"Yet as much as RVP's goals are going to win Manchester United the title and Suarez has carried Liverpool single-handed for much of the season, Bale gets my vote.

"Someone told me they reckoned he was as close as you will get to the British Cristiano Ronaldo and I wouldn't disagree.

"Young Player of the Year is not quite as clear cut, with the likes of Luke Shaw at Southampton, Swansea's Ben Davies and Matthew Lowton of Villa all having quite sensational seasons.

"But the one who has impressed me most is Lowton's team-mate Christian Benteke.

"It's incredible to think he is only 22, has come from Genk — not exactly one of Europe's super powers — and is in his debut season in the Premier League.

"But he has taken it all in his stride, looks as if he's been here for years and has led the line like a battle-hardened veteran.

"I know Villa are fighting for their lives right now but in a struggling side he has still managed over 20 goals this term - if you include for the Belgian national side."

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