It is fair to say that Aston Villa have had a very hard time during the 2012-13 season, a young inexperienced team had to battle with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and many more. One man keeping their heads above water was the mighty Christian Benteke. The 22 Year old Belgian international moved to Villa from Genk in August 2012. Villa boss Paul Lambert offered the Belgian club £7 million for the striker. Many of the Villa fans thought that this would be another wasted signature but they were wrong. By the end of the 2013 season the hit man had scored 23 goals and was the fourth highest goal scorer in the Premier League. Many teams are now looking to sign the Aston Villa Shirtsstriker but the club have slapped a £25 million price tag on the striker in a bid to keep him. Both the club and supporters are desperate to keep hold of the Belgian international.

Aston Villa football club who are based in Witton, Birmingham were founded in 1874 and were founder members in the Premier League in 1992. The club have been there ever since and have more often than not found themselves in 10th place upwards. The last couple of years has seen Villa slip further and further down the table because of one thing or another. Last season's real worry started when Villa got thrashed by Chelsea in December. After this the team struggled to pick their heads up and lost game after game. It was not until February when the team really picked up, the main highlight was the 6-1 win over Sunderland in April, from then on the Villans were on the up and looking to keeping their Premier League status.

Apart from Benteke, Agbonlahor and Wiemann who scored the majority of Villa's goals the rest of the team really lacked something, the defence was the main issue, teams were finding it way to easy to score past them and at the end of the season the club found themselves battling to stay in the Premier League, if they'd have failed the club would have been relegated for the first time. Even though the players were not at their best they all pulled together in the end and managed to stay up. The players and the fans, including myself will be hoping that the Villa can really pull themselves together, get some good pre-season training in and really go for it this season. Paul Lambert has already made 6 signings so far including one back up goalkeeper to give Brad Guzan some competition, defenders Jores Okore and Antonio Luna, midfielders Leandro Bacuna and Tonev and finally striker Helenius who could also be a secret back up if Benteke is sold. These player's will work hard for their Aston Villa football shirt and will have to show great skill to be picked ahead of the squad that is used at the moment.

In the past Villa have paid out a lot of money for player's signatures, a prime example of this was the signing of Darren bent for £18 million plus. Bent was already at the club before Lambert arrived, the 29 year old did play some games and scored goals but once Christian Benteke signed for the club in August he did not get much of a look in. During this year's summer transfer window there have been some interest in Bent, particularly from Newcastle but this remains to be seen as to whether he will be leaving or not. In my opinion I think that Villa should have tried the two strikers together making a very powerful front line. Christian Benteke has often come across slightly cocky in some media reports, one comment stated "If Aston Villa says I must stay, I won't necessarily accept that. I do not in any way want to feel I didn't get the most out of my career. I try to get everything''. In a way this is understandable, of course the striker wants to succeed in everything he sets out to do but he should really stay at Villa another year and improve even more. This will get him more bids from bigger clubs if that's what he wants and maybe even bigger wages.

It will be interesting to see whether we manage to keep hold of Benteke for more seasons to come, what do you think will he stay?
Will Villa's new signings improve them this season? What do you think of the new Aston Villa football kits?
We would love to hear from you,

Emily writes exclusively for Soccer Box; here you can take a look at some Aston Villa football shirts, kits, training wear and souvenirs.