Apr 11, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT
Aston Villa coach Paul Lambert believes his star-striker Christian Benteke is worth a similar amount of money to some of the most highly rated forwards in the world.
The 22-year-old Belgium international was signed by Lambert for £7m at the start of this season, and has been sensational, scoring 15 goals in 29 appearances as Villa try desperately to stay in the Premier League.
In an interview with BBC Sport, Lambert says that, despite interest in Benteke from a number of top clubs, he has absolutely no plans to sell such a key player.
“He is hot property. If you wanted to prise Christian away from here you would want a sizeable cheque, that is for sure,” said the 43-year-old Scotsman.
“He has the potential to be fantastic. If you look at modern day figures then £25m is probably a good start. We can’t stop people looking at him but he is under contract here. He is enjoying his football at the moment and doing fantastically well.”
Benteke is part of an exciting generation of young or in their prime Belgian stars, including the following:
Thibaut Courtois, Jan Vertonghen, Thomas Vermaelen, Maroune Fellaini, Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard, Kevin Mirallas, Moussa Dembele and Kevin de Bruyne.
They are being tipped by some as dark horses to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil next summer.
- Malky Mackay and Iain Moody investigated by FA for ‘sexist, racist and homophobic’ text messages while at Cardiff City 3
- Liverpool and AC Milan in talks over deal for Mario Balotelli 4
- Atlanta’s new MLS franchise has already sold 14,000 season tickets 9
- No signings in 2015: Barcelona’s transfer ban upheld, FIFA rejects appeal 3
- Report: Tottenham set to raid Manchester United, line up Fellaini, Hernandez deals 6
- Spanish Super Cup: Late goal allows Atlético to claim first leg draw at Real Madrid 0