Aston Villa boss alert for Christian Benteke pressure

Paul Lambert is keeping a close eye on his main man Christian Benteke in case he detects signs of burn-out.

Aston Villa's Christian Benteke celebrates his goal

The Villa boss knows the 22-year-old hot-shot faces another long year which should culminate in his Belgium team featuring in the World Cup finals in Brazil.

That will become clearer after tonight’s qualifier against Scotland and it is the combination of club and international football that slightly concerns Lambert.

“He’s played a lot of games, including for the national team,” acknowledges the Villa boss. “He’s got to go up and play Scotland, so he’s not getting any respite.

“I don’t know if he needs a break yet, but sometimes it’s important you don’t put too much emphasis on him at every point.

“He’s young, he’s 22 and with the experience he will become better.

“I think there’s a lot more to come from him. I just think his performances will get better.”

Lambert’s concerns about Benteke’s schedule were clearly part of his thinking as he clinched the deadline-day signing of Libor Kozak from Lazio.

The Czech Republic international has been brought in to both supplement and at times provide an option for Benteke if Lambert does feel the star needs a breather.