Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has praised the form of Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke: Scored late winner against Reading

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Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has praised Christian Benteke after the striker scored to give his side victory over Reading at Villa Park on Tuesday.

Belgian Benteke was a £7million summer signing from Genk and soon relegated England international Darren Bent to the bench.

Amid rumours that Bent is to leave Villa in January after failing to make the bench on Tuesday, Lambert instead preferred to heap praise on his 21-year-old forward.

"Christian has been excellent, you run out of things to say about the big guy,"

"You've got to be a special type of player to play that lone striker role. He is developing his whole demeanour"

"He has turned himself into a fans' favourite here, that's for sure, and his general game is outstanding at the minute. He has been brilliant for us. I thought the header for the winner against Reading was fantastic.

"You forget he is only 21 and he might not hit his peak until his late 20s but he is playing ever so well for us.

"You've got to be a special type of player to play that lone striker role. He is developing his whole demeanour...he is growing up. He is a strong lad but also has really good ability. He does get on the end of chances. I've been delighted with him."

Benteke has scored three Premier League goals in 11 appearances this season.