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Striker Benteke completes move to Villa on a four-year deal

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Striker Benteke completes move to Villa on a four-year deal

Christian Benteke admitted he has taken his inspiration from fellow Belgian internationals Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen and Eden Hazard - as well as Villa manager Paul Lambert - as he completed his "dream move" to the Barclays Premier League, agreeing a four-year deal which will keep him at Villa to the end of the 2015-16 season.

The 21-year-old striker - Lambert's eighth signing of this transfer window - has made five appearances for Belgium, scoring his first goal against the Netherlands in the recent friendly game in Brussels and in this calendar year has accumulated a prolific 18 goals in 29 games in domestic football and in Europe.

He is determined to continue in that rich vein of form when he makes his first start for Villa next month.

"It was motivation for me when I went to join up with the national team and saw all the players from the Premier League - Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen and Eden Hazard - it made me want to play here," Benteke declared.

"But the manager also convinced me this was the perfect move. Aston Villa are a very historic football club and my colleagues on international duty have said good things about the football here in England.

"I am looking forward to getting my career started in the Premier League. I am a striker and I can play with my back to the goal. I can also play behind the striker and I am good in the air.

"I know Darren Bent is a great striker and I want to play with him and work hard for the team.

"I saw the game between Manchester City and Chelsea, the Community Shield, at Villa Park and I saw that it was a great stadium, so I am looking forward very much to playing here.

"Next week I have to go to join up with my national team, so I will have to wait for another week before I can do that.

"It was a special moment for me to score my first goal for the national team two weeks ago against the Netherlands and I hope that I can do this for Aston Villa many times.

"I am happy to come here, it is my dream and I will work hard to do well here. I have realised one of my dreams by coming here but my dream now is to be successful here. It will be difficult because there are good international players here but this is my challenge and I look forward to playing with them."

Villa manager Lambert said: "Christian is only 21 years of age but already he's an established Belgian international and he's had a terrific time at Genk. He's something very different to what we have here and that added dimension will enhance the football club.

"A young lad he may be, but he's definitely a handful. He's tall, powerful, he has pace and we'll be stronger with him in the side.

"We're stronger now as a unit and we're trying to build step by step. This is an important step. I believe in the players I have here that they can go and perform."

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AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 31st August 2012
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