Paul Lambert today laughed off the prospect of a surprise bid for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke in January.
But he warned any interested clubs not to bother anyway. The Belgium powerhouse has been a revelation since his £6m transfer from Genk and impressed again in Villa’s 1-1 draw with QPR at Loftus Road.
Benteke is only a few months into a four-year contract at Villa Park and when it was put to him that some of the bigger clubs in Europe might sniff around him in the transfer window, Lambert said: “He’s going nowhere.
“He’s 21 and he can be anything he wants. He’s not the finished article yet, but he’s been absolutely brilliant and might not peak until his late 20s.
“He’s a big lad and a target man but there’s a lot more to him than that. The way the guy is playing, he has been exceptional for us. He is not the finished player at all but he is playing fantastic.”
Meanwhile, Brett Holman was today urged to go on a goalscoring spree by Lambert after the midfielder broke his duck at the weekend.
The Australia international opened his competitive account with a spectacular long-range effort in Harry Redknapp’s first home game in charge of QPR.
“It was a terrific move and a great finish by Brett and it gave us something to with. I am delighted with the team,” said Lambert.
“He has threatened to do that a few times and his energy levels are extremely high, and I thought it was a fabulous strike from him.
“It was his first Premier League goal so hopefully that will give him confidence to go and get a few more goals now.
“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who scores as long as somebody does. If we can score, we can win, and I think that is important. I don’t want to score and get beat but Brett I thought was great.
“It is a different environment for him over here and he has only been here a short time so he is still adapting to little things and getting used to the Premier League.
“Brett was excellent against Reading and also against Swansea. So he has been good overall since he has been here.”