Last summer Aston Villa brought Christian Benteke to the best league in the world, a big club and improved him as a player. Then they made it clear he's a big part of their future and now Benteke's handed in a transfer request.
He's not left because a top club has come in and had a bid accepted by Aston Villa. He's just shown his desperation to do the dirty on the club that has done a lot for him in a year. The manager, the coaches and the fans.
I think there should be a clause in every player's contract, at least every player under 30, that prevents them from moving to another club within the first year or two of their contract. Because Aston Villa are doing things the right way. They're spending little amount of money on players transfer fees and wages, bringing through young talent, have a very good scouting system and try to play good, attacking football. Basically they're trying to succeed by doing things the correct way; bringing in young players, coaching them in a way that promotes the right style of football and improving them, rather than just throwing money at it (ala West Ham, QPR, Tottenham, Liverpool, Sunderland... a lot of clubs).
But it's never going to work is it? Because the likes of Benteke and maybe Lowton and Westwood in the future are going to attract interest from the top clubs and Villa aren't going to stand a chance really in keeping them. So they'll have to start from scratch again. They'll get punished for doing things the right way.
I don't blame Benteke for wanting to further his career. If I was at Aston Villa and the likes of Arsenal came calling I'd be very tempted too, but it's not even that is it? He's handed in a transfer request and as far as we know none of the top teams have put in a bid. So it's not like the opportunity's presented itself and it's been too good to resist, I'd understand that. It's a case of just being desperate to leave and that shows him not having a shred of loyalty to Aston Villa's staff and fans.
A solution to this problem therefore is that any player that signs a contract of 3 years or longer has to have a clause in their contract that means they can't leave in the first 2 years of said contract. I know it doesn't solve it completely but it'd improve things for teams with less power to keep players when Europe's elite come calling. It's not fair that teams like Aston Villa should be punished for doing things the right way. They deserve the chance to keep their best players for a more significant period of time.