Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke has scored 13 Premier League goals this season Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned his side about the "massive potential" of Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke ahead of the FA Cup final on Saturday 30 May.

The Belgium international had a slow start to the season but has managed to replicate his best form in the last part of the campaign to keep his side away from relegation trouble with 11 goals in the last 11 Premier League games of the campaign.

And after Benteke also scored during the FA Cup semi-final victory over Liverpool to reach the final, Wenger admitted he was concerned about how to stop the striker.

"He's a player who has a massive potential. I think some of the bad fortune of Aston Villa this season was linked with the fact that Benteke was not there," Wenger said.

"When he came back into the team, he gave a lift to everybody and of course he has a fantastic leap, he's an intelligent player as well and he can score goals with his feet. He's fantastic in the air and can score headers against any team in the league."

The Gunners have beaten Aston Villa both home (5-0) and away (3-0) but Wenger showed he was not about to take the possibility of another win for granted and pointed out the re-emergence of the team since the arrival of manager Tim Sherwood in February.

"He [Sherwood] has done extremely well. He has lifted their confidence and got them to go forward a lot. They are positive so overall I believe he has done a very good job," the manager said.

"If you analyse their individual quality, they are a strong team. They had a great semi-final and of course they have a quality Premier League team who have a lot of strengths in their side. They are a strong opponent."

Meanwhile, Wenger refused to confirm his selection plans for the game while insisting the only matter is to retain the trophy, after the Gunners won the cup last season against Hull City.

"I don't know who will start yet and it's not important because it's just [about what happens] on the day in the FA Cup final. What is important is that you bring the trophy back," the manager added.

"I just think it is important to focus as a whole squad on winning the trophy. Most of the time the heroes are the people who come on in an FA Cup final — they make the difference.

"That's why it is important as a reward for the whole team who have fought very hard the whole season to get there. Let's deal with it as a whole squad."