Benteke: Villa transfer request was a mistake

Christian Benteke admits he was wrong to hand in a transfer request at Aston Villa and is delighted he opted to remain with the club.

The Belgium international striker scored 19 goals in 34 Premier League games in an excellent debut season for Villa in 2012-13.

However, Benteke's future at Villa Park looked in doubt when he asked to leave the club in July 2013.

Villa did not allow their star man to leave, though, and the 24-year-old is happy he stayed put.

"I don't have regrets about staying," he told the Daily Mirror.

"Every choice I made I accept but I would not do the same mistake and everything that happened before."

Benteke, who recently returned from a long-term Achilles injury, is now keen to repay manager Paul Lambert for showing faith in him.

"He signed me and gave me confidence and I try to pay him back on the pitch to try and score," he added.

"I have a special relationship with him. He is really cool with me and gives me a lot of freedom when I play.

"He also understood when you have a break while injured you come back fresh in your head.

"My injury was really hard but the fact I was with my family in Belgium helped me a lot. I forgot about football a bit."