Tim Sherwood has compared Christian Benteke’s Aston Villa exit to that of the void left by Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale after leaving Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.
The Belgium international joined the Merseyside club after helping Villa avoid relegation last season. Suarez and Bale were instrumental in their final season in the Premier League as the Uruguayan international came close to helping the Reds win the league.
Suarez joined Barcelona in 2014, a year after Bale joined Real Madrid. The duo went on to win the Champions League and Copa del Rey in their debut season in Spain. Following their departures from England, their former clubs struggled in the very next season.
Bale was linked with a move to Manchester United in the summer transfer window, reports The Independent. Sherwood has seen his side sit 19th in the table and the former Tottenham manager claims Villa has suffered a massive blow after losing Benteke to Liverpool earlier in the summer.
“Benteke leaving was absolutely the same as Suarez, or Gareth Bale. If he didn’t have a clause in his contract then £100m wouldn’t have taken him away from us,” Sherwood explained.
“He wasn’t worth selling for any money. No money can guarantee you Premier League survival – that player could.
“It’s all relative but we scraped through relegation last season and were the worst team left in the Premier League. We lost our three best players and that should put it in perspective.
“You do drop, we can’t afford to drop. We have to make sure we stay at least where we were, and higher. That’s the size of the task ahead. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I think all the decision-makers at the club appreciated that.”