Existing besides Villa's battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League is another fight: Keeping hold of Christian Benteke. The Belgian striker's reputation is growing stronger by the week, and so is his group of admirers. Spurs, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal have all been linked with a summer bid for Benteke, and those clubs have reportedly been joined by two of European football's rising forces, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. With Villa's focus firmly on staying in the league, the increasing speculation is unhelpful, distracting and rather depressing, particularly for a fan base which has seen some of its favourites leave in recent years. The prospect of Benteke, one of Villa's few unqualified successes on the pitch this season, moving on after a solitary campaign in claret and blue is gloomy, but not at all surprising.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images