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Benteke pens Villa extension

19 July 2013 19:08

Aston Villa's Christian Benteke has withdrawn a transfer request and signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2017.

Benteke, 22, had previously indicated his desire to leave Villa Park, submitting his request for a move on July 9.

The Belgian striker enjoyed a superb debut season in the Premier League, scoring 23 goals in 39 games for Paul Lambert's men.

Tottenham had been credited with holding an interest in Benteke, who joined Villa from Belgian team Genk in August 2012.

However, the Belgium international has put an end to the speculation by committing to Villa for another four years following discussions with Lambert.

"I spoke with the manager when I returned to training and we had a good talk. I am very happy to be back here in Birmingham and at Aston Villa, and to sign a new contract," Benteke told the club's official website.

"This is a great club and it has given me a lot. Now I have to give back to my team-mates and the fans who have always been right behind me.

"The end of last season was very good and the lads were very strong. It was not easy but we came through it and the confidence is high.

"Everyone knows what we have to do now - be better. I need to be better than last year."

Lambert, who has already made six additions to his squad in the close-season, expressed his delight after managing to retain Benteke's services.

"I had a full and frank discussion with Christian Benteke on his return to training this week regarding his future," Lambert said. "It is my opinion that the best thing for Christian is to remain at Aston Villa.

"He enjoyed a terrific first season at the club and can use that as a platform to hopefully enjoy more success this season.

"I'm delighted, having time to re-evaluate his future, Christian has decided to commit to the club It's a huge bonus and I'm sure the supporters are every bit as delighted as me to have him on board and raring to go."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
12 34 -9 37
13 33 -6 36
14 33 -14 34
15 34 -5 33
16 33 -11 33

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