According to Birmingham Live, Paul Lambert had a host of high-profile names who might have joined instead that summer.
Headlining that list was Romelu Lukaku, as the former Villa manager said:
“Prior to signing Benteke, I spoke to (Romelu) Lukaku, and we also looked at signing (Kevin) de Bruyne on loan – when they were both kids at Chelsea.”
Their pursuit of the 29-year-old started with this loan move, ending with a permanent switch in 2014. Had Villa struck first instead, it could have been them who were blessed with this lethal forward who possessed far more speed than Benteke did as well as all the physical attributes.
It is these attributes that led to Italian football expert David Amoyal labelling him a “beast” as well as commending his goal-scoring prowess after moving to Inter Milan. He has enjoyed a fine career, and despite certain lulls and questions asked about his technical ability, he still has 275 total career goals.
One of these supposed lulls occurred during his stint at Manchester United, but ex-striker Andy Cole insisted he had been “phenomenal” following his debut season, where he had scored 27 in all competitions.
Although Benteke was a success, his transfer to Liverpool was abrupt and showed his liability to move to a bigger club at the first opportunity. Lukaku conversely stuck around at Everton far longer than was expected.
Had Lambert opted for him, they could’ve had guaranteed goals and a huge physical presence up front for a longer time, creating a more sustainable future for the club.
Instead, the season following his departure they were relegated.