The Belgium international has found his form since the arrival of Tim Sherwood as manager, and his team-mate feels he will be key at Wembley
Ashley Westwood believes Arsenal will have “sleepless nights” about Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke before Saturday’s FA Cup final.
Benteke has rediscovered his best form under manager Tim Sherwood, scoring 12 goals in as many matches, to help preserve Villa’s Premier League status and lead the Birmingham club to an unexpected second trip to Wembley, having stunned Liverpool in the semi-finals.
Saturday’s decider in London is Villa’s first FA Cup final in 15 years, while Arsenal are looking to defend their crown, but Westwood has backed Benteke to strike fear into Arsene Wenger’s men in the English capital.
“I think he’s back to full fitness now, he was struggling with his Achilles early on and people didn’t see that, they just expected him to walk back in and fire in the goals,” said the 25-year-old.
“But he’s back to his best now, bullying defenders and I’m sure they’ll have sleepless nights, they won’t want to be playing against him.
“We know how good we are, if we play like we can do we can match anyone. We’ve got internationals throughout the team, Fabs [Fabian Delph] and Clevs [Tom Cleverley] are on form, Christian is a real handful for anyone, I’m sure they’ll be having sleepless nights about him.”
Benteke’s form has seen him heavily linked with a move away from Villa Park, and Goal understands Chelsea and Liverpool will battle it out for the €38 million-rated forward.