While Arsene Wenger has been keen to play down his Arsenal transfer plans until after the season has ended, doing his best to keep all the focus at the club firmly fixed on the FA cup final today, Aston Villa seem to be intent on muddying the waters.
There is nothing that their manager Tim Sherwood can do about the transfer rumours appearing in the media, except ignore them perhaps. And now their former manager Paul Lambert has added his own take on the transfer sage surrounding their Belgian international striker and danger man Christian Benteke.
As reported by the Daily Express, Lambert has expressed surprise at his successor’s decision to reveal ahead of the Wembley clash the fact that Benteke has a release clause and could leave the Birmingham club this summer.
He said, “I’m surprised by the timing of it, a day before the cup final. That’s the surprising thing.
“I fought tooth and nail to keep Christian there from day one because he was playing that well in his first year.”
While this might be a dig at the manager who took his job, I do think that the Scot has a good point. We have seen many times that a player can lose focus when his future is the talk of the football media, such as with Raheem Sterling this season and the time when Wenger had made a bid for Newcastle’s French midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
With Benteke probably the most potent threat facing Arsenal in the final, should Sherwood have kept his mouth shut and concentrated on the tough task facing his players?