Leandro Bacuna today insisted Villa are no one-man team and can cope without hotshot Christian Benteke.
Belgium powerhouse Benteke has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a hip injury sustained in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Norwich.
Villa’s five-goal top scorer has emerged as a talismanic figure after scoring 23 goals last season, then withdrawing his transfer request to sign a new deal to 2017 after Tottenham showed interest in him in the summer.
But midfielder Bacuna is convinced boss Paul Lambert has the strikepower to deal with Benteke’s absence, starting with a buoyant Manchester City side at Villa Park on Saturday fresh from their crushing 4-1 Manchester derby win.
Libor Kozak – matchwinner at Carrow Road – Nicklas Helenius and Andreas Weimann are all vying to fill the goalscoring void left by Benteke, while Gabby Agbonlahor is still troubled by an ankle injury.
Bacuna said: “Christian’s a big player for the team and he’s really important for us so we’ll miss him, but the team isn’t all about Christian.
“We have other strikers here and we have confidence in them. The others will do well so we don’t depend as much on Christian.”