Lambert admits attempts to form Lukaku and Benteke pairing

The former Norwich City boss has confessed that he pursued the on-loan Everton striker last season and would have paired him with his Belgium team-mate up front
12/5 Aston Villa are 12/5 with Bet365 to beat Everton this weekend.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has admitted Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku could have joined the club on loan last season prior to the arrival of Christian Benteke.

The 44-year-old pursued the current Everton-loanee after becoming Villa boss but confessed that his wages proved a stumbling block, with the Belgium forward eventually signing for local rivals West Brom in a similar deal.

"I remember when I first came in here I spoke to Chelsea about Lukaku before we saw Christian," he said at a press conference ahead of Everton’s trip to Villa Park on Saturday.

"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 and the rest is history, as they say.

"They're totally different players but the two of them are a threat."

Benteke, who joined the club on deadline day last season, scored 23 goals last season but Lambert rejected claims he was only there as second choice due to the failure to sign Lukaku.

He continued: "No, no. I would have tried to get Christian as well, probably. What would they have been like together? Expensive! You don't know, you really don't know - but they're two powerful lads.

"I'm not so sure they're similar. They're two young guys who are making a career for themselves."