Wilmots lifts lid on Benteke withdrawal
Aston Villa, Updated:
Belgium coach Marc Wilmots confirmed star Christian Benteke was substituted against Colombia for his display and not because of injury.
The Aston Villa hitman came off after 75 minutes of his country's 2-0 friendly defeat in Brussels on Thursday evening, sparking fears that he might have aggravated a hip injury which forced him out for a few weeks earlier in the season.
However Wilmots confirmed that Benteke came off because his 15-minute experiment to play him in attack alongside Romelu Lukaku during the second half disappointed him greatly and he decided to make a change.
Benteke and Lukaku have nine Premier League goals between them for Villa and Everton respectively this season, but Wilmots told Het Nieuwsblad: "I wanted to try [the pairing], but I soon saw that nothing was going to happen.
"I am glad that you [media] could see that. That is why I took Benteke off."
The news will be a relief for Villa boss Paul Lambert and the club's fans as they will hope Benteke will be fit and ready to try and end his five-match goal drought when they face Midlands' rivals West Brom at the Hawthorns on Monday week.