Christian Benteke can be the new John Carew by muscling his way into the Villa Park faithful’s affections.
That is the view of Gabby Agbonlahor after cranking up his productive Capital One Cup partnership with the Belgian.
The duo led the way as Aston Villa knocked Manchester City out of the competition and repeated the feat in dramatic fashion in Tuesday’s 3-2 win at Swindon.
Agbonlahor has been impressed with Benteke’s impact and reckons the 21-year-old can have a similar impact to former powerhouse Carew.
The Brummie striker knows all about Carew’s capabilities having played alongside the Norwegian targetman who was the club’s top scorer for three years in a row. Benteke took his Villa tally to four goals with a winning brace at the County Ground following his Premier League strikes against Norwich and Swansea.
“Christian gives us a different option, he can hold the ball up similar to when John Carew was here,” said Agbonlahor.
“He can win a lot of aerial balls and he can finish as he showed at Swindon.
“It was world-class finishing. He is only 21 and can get better and better.
“People were surprised when he first came here that he is 21 with his physical stature.
“He is still learning. Game by game he will get better and better. He is still learning in training, is working hard and you can tell by his performance how good he was.”
Agbonlahor admits Villa owed the Capital One Cup victory to their supporters after a tough start to the Premier League season.
And he hopes Paul Lambert’s men can maintain the winning momentum when they take on former boss Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
“The fans wanted the win, we gave them that and hopefully that will keep a smile on their faces,” said Agbonlahor, who has scored three times in the cup this season, but is still looking for his first league goal since last November.