Christian Benteke: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says striker will stay

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is determined to keep hold of in-form Belgian striker Christian Benteke.

The 22-year-old, who signed from Genk for £7m in August, has scored eight goals in 17 appearances this season.

His form has sparked speculation that he could be a January transfer target for other Premier League clubs.

However, Lambert said: "There's no point in us being here if it's a case of bringing people in and then letting them go."

Benteke's season

  • Scores three goals for Genk before August deadline day transfer to Villa
  • Scores on Villa debut in 2-0 win over Swansea
  • Scores for Belgium in 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Scotland in October
  • Scores twice in 3-1 win at Liverpool and sets up the other goal

Villa have seen key players such as Gareth Barry, James Milner, Ashley Young and Stewart Downing leave Villa Park for big transfer fees in recent seasons.

But Lambert, who believes Benteke's potential is "frightening", continued: "We're trying to build something here which can take a few years and you need good players to achieve that.

"There's no point in them coming for half a season or a year and then we let them go."

Benteke was instrumental in last Saturday's 3-1 win at Liverpool, scoring two and setting up the third.

Three of his goals have come in the Capital One Cup to help Villa reach the semi-final, where they will play League Two side Bradford over two legs in January.