Football

Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku almost joined Aston Villa

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Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has revealed that he tried to sign Romelu Lukaku last season.

The Scot instead opted to sign Christian Benteke and the pair will face-off on Saturday when Villa host loan club Everton.

Both players made huge impacts at their respective clubs last season as Benteke netted 19 for the Villans and Lukaku scored 17 for rivals West Brom.

After a successful season at the Hawthorns, a host of clubs were chasing the Chelsea striker on loan.

He eventually joined Everton and has started the season on fire.

Benteke has also impressed early on this season - netting twice at the Emirates in the first game of the season.

22-year-old Benteke was one of Lambert's first signings after he moved to Villa from Norwich City, joining in a £7million deal from Standard Liege.

However, things could have worked out differently, as Lambert revealed he first looked at Lukaku.

"I remember when I first came in here I spoke to Chelsea about Lukaku before we saw Christian," he is quoted as saying on SkySports.

"I knew about him and this club needed somebody to be that type of player.

"Obviously we couldn't afford that at that time and Christian came in. The rest is history, as they say. They're totally different players but the two of them are a threat."

Had the Scotsman signed both players Villa would have one of the most feared forward lines in the Premier League.

And the 1997 Champions League winner with Borussia Dortmund says that the club would have gone for Benteke even if they did land their initial target.

"I would have tried to get Christian as well, probably. What would they have been like together? You really don't know, but they're two powerful lads."

Aston Villa are currently five points behind Everton as the pair lock horns at Villa Park this weekend.

However, as Paul Lambert points out, his side have come through a number of difficult games.

"The thing for us is that in our start to the season we've played five of the top six which is an incredible thing to come through," eurosport report Lambert as saying.

"You need a bit of respite at certain times from that. You can't keep going like that. The only one we haven't played yet is Manchester United so when you look at it like that, our points tally is pretty decent."

Everton will be looking to build on their 2-1 win over Hull, and a win could move them into the Champions League places.

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Topics:
Football
Everton
Romelu Lukaku
Aston Villa
Chelsea
Christian Benteke

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