Football - Laursen backs Benteke

Former Aston Villa captain Martin Laursen feels Christian Benteke has already established himself as the "focal point" of the team.

PA Sport

Benteke only joined Villa from Genk on transfer deadline day in August, but has since scored eight goals in all competitions for his new club, including a brace in an impressive individual performance in last Saturday's 3-1 Barclays Premier League victory at Liverpool.

Laursen is hoping for something similar from the 22-year-old Belgium striker in Sunday's league trip to Chelsea and has no doubt Benteke is vital for Villa at the moment.

"Christian Benteke is already a key player for Villa," former Denmark defender Laursen, a Villa player between 2004 and 2009, told

"If he plays well, Villa play well. He was brilliant at Anfield and I'm hoping for more of the same from him at Stamford Bridge. I think he's great.

"He is so, so strong, he works his socks off, he's a part of everything Villa does.

"He's the focal point of the team. He's involved in throw-ins, corner-kicks, everything really. He is very, very important."

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