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Aston Villa missed out on Kevin De Bruyne in 2012

Aston Villa had the chance to sign Kevin De Bruyne before he became the household name we know today, a recent book has revealed.

Big Deal! 100 Managers, Their Greatest Signing and The One Who Got Away‘ by Richard Sydenham and John Wragg has featured numerous gaffes by the Midlands outfit in the transfer market over the years and among them is the current Manchester City superstar.

It was back under the Randy Lerner era when Paul Lambert was in the dugout. The former Villa boss revealed to the publication that back in 2012, they were resigned to the loan market due to finances.

“When I came into Villa it was clear the loan market was going to be a requirement for us if we wanted to bring quality in,” Lambert said in the book (as relayed by the Birmingham Mail).

Would De Bruyne have been a good signing in 2012?





“Prior to signing [Christian] Benteke, I spoke to [Romelu] Lukaku, and we also looked at signing [Kevin] De Bruyne on loan – when they were both kids at Chelsea.

“Look at De Bruyne now – he’s one of the best in the world. That’s what happens in football, you get so many you pursue but who slip through the grass for whatever reason.”

Things didn’t work out for the Belgium international at Stamford Bridge as by 2014, he had left permanently for Bundesliga outfit VfL Wolfsburg and his form there caught the eye of the Manchester moneybags, who paid a whopping £55m, a then club-record in 2015.

As we now know, he has gone on to achieve some remarkable feats at the Etihad Stadium, ranging from his four Premier League titles and five League Cups to a total of 87 goals and 129 assists in 317 appearances, via Transfermarkt.

You’re left wondering on what might’ve happened had he secured that temporary stint to Villa Park – it’s unlikely that he’d have had the career he’s forged today if that did come to fruition as Lambert wanted.

Villa have certainly been tormented by his creative exploits over the years as De Bruyne has never lost to them in seven fixtures, in which he has assisted a whopping five goals, almost one per game, also per Transfermarkt.

The 31-year-old, who Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers once dubbed “world-class” and a “monster” by Spurs attacker Richarlison, has certainly been one that got away from those at Villa Park.

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