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Lambert wants Benteke focused

Paul Lambert has said he is not worried about Christian Benteke's nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award affecting the striker's performances for Aston Villa.

• Blog: Benteke for Young POTY

Benteke's impressive debut season at the club, which has seen him score 19 goals in all competitions, has generated interest from Premier League sides including Tottenham and Arsenal.

The Belgium international's inclusion on the award shortlist further highlights the impact he has made since his £7 million arrival from Racing Genk in the summer.

Lambert, though, is only concerned about his displays on the pitch, saying: "I'm not bothered if he's nominated or not, as long as he's performing for this club. That's the most important thing for me.

"His form has dictated that people have nominated him. It's great for him and great for the football club that he has been, alongside some really great players.

"Whether he wins it or not... wait and see. I don't think it will affect him one bit or affect his football. If he remains the way he is at this minute, he'll do very well for himself."

Villa are keen to offer Benteke an improved contract, but have put all talks on hold until the end of the season, with everything depending on Lambert guiding them to Premier League safety.

"He's only just come here," Lambert said. "I know the situation and how well he's done for us. Christian himself wouldn't want to speak about anything like that at the minute, even though we've got a good relationship with each other.

"I know the situation, and no doubt we'll look at it at the end of season. The guy's been great, but I just don't want him to be a one-season wonder."


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