Arsenal v Villa: Lambert - Benteke is ready and raring to go
Paul Lambert is ready to unleash Christian Benteke on the Barclays Premier League, insisting: "He's ready for it!"
Lambert has seen Benteke in close-quarters over the past few weeks since returning from his summer break.
And he thinks the powerful forward has improved, even in that short time frame.
Lambert confirmed that Benteke had trained with the team this morning after returning from international duty with Belgium, where he played the final half-hour against France.
And the manager is ready to send him out at The Emirates in search of goals.
He said: "Looking at him since he's come back from his break, in the games he's played he's been excellent.
"I think he's not lost his goalscoring exploits.
"To me, he's just getting better. He's growing in confidence.
"He's a big athlete and a really top, top footballer."
Lambert won't put pressure on Benteke to hit the heights but believes his best will be good enough to bruise defences this term.
He added: "I'm not going to put levels of expectancy on him. If he goes out and tries his best and gives it everything he's got then I think that's all you can ever ask.
"He'll have his own standards and own heights of what he wants to achieve.
"But at this moment in time, in training and in games, he's ready for it."