The 2013-14 season will likely be one played without Christian Benteke in the claret and blue. Whether you're angry, sad, or resigned, we all recognize this is a big deal. But it wouldn't be one if Benteke hadn't provided us with a year of amazing play, including some goals that were simply stunning. We've collected a bunch of those goals here. If you're inclined to be bitter, I'd bypass this article now. If you don't mind appreciating what Benteke did for us, I think you'll really enjoy this. Onto the gifs!
Aston Villa 2-0 Swansea (88') - Sept. 15, 2012
Benteke made his debut in the match against Swansea, and within minutes had won the hearts of Aston Villa fans with this cheeky little effort to seal the 2-0 win, the club's first in the EPL for the season.
Aston Villa 1-0 Norwich City (26') - October 27, 2012
This one still amazes me. In the split second he had, Benteke somehow fooled the keeper into thinking he'd shoot the other way. Usually you see that on penalty kicks, not on goals in the middle of the match.
Norwich City 1-4 Aston Villa (90+') - December 11, 2012
The last goal of a rout of Norwich City in the quarterfinals of the League Cup, and what would be the first of Benteke's four goals in five days. Incredible power mixed with a bit of finesse.
Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa (29') - December 15, 2012
His second goal in five days was the opener in the embarrassing (for them) 1-3 walloping of Liverpool in December. It's got a lot of the hallmarks of the last goal he had scored before it: power and perfect aim.
Liverpool 0-3 Aston Villa (51') - December 15, 2012
With this, Benteke completed his hat-trick and - I believe - got the rights to call Liverpool his for the rest of the year. Some of the most deft footwork you'll ever see. If his first goal in the match showed his Heskey side, this was his Agbonlahor.
West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Aston Villa (12') - January 19, 2013
To my mind, this was his best goal of the season. Stop the ball, feint right, turn, and curl it in. Simply perfect. I only wish I had better video of it from which I could make a gif.
Stoke City 1-3 Aston Villa (90+') - April 6, 2013
I'm an absolute sucker for a long run. After taking the ball just beyond the centre-line, Benteke decided to finish this one himself.
Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea (14') - May 11, 2013
Finally, in what is likely to be his last goal in an Aston Villa uniform, Benteke gave us this beauty, finding a way to finish from the tightest of angles and just eeking the ball past Petr Cech.
We may have only gotten a year out of the Belgian, but boy what a year it was.