Aston Villa Pursuing Belgian Powerhouse

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 29: England defender Steven Caulker (L) battles with Belguim forward Christian Benteke during the UEFA Under-21 Euro 2013 Group 8 Qualifier between England U-21 and Belguim U-21 at the Riverside on February 29, 2012 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

And the hits keep comin'! Minutes after word broke that Aston Villa have reportedly made an offer for Charlton Athletic midfielder Dale Stephens, Mat Kendrick brings us a much bigger piece of transfer gossip; Paul Lambert is heavily pursuing 21-year-old Belgium international and K.R.C. Genk striker Christian Benteke. Benteke has scored three three in five games so far this season and his first senior international goal -quite an impressive one at that- came in a 4-2 win for Belgium over the Netherlands on August 15th.

The 6'3", 180 lb striker would certainly offer a different skillset than currently possessed by any of Villa's current strike force; for all of his skill in front of goal, Darren Bent is most decidedly not a target forward and he's well behind Benteke in terms of strength. Were I given the choice of the kind of striker I'd like Villa to target, a very tall guy made of solid muscle with good positional sense and a nice longer-range shot would be pretty close to the top of the list.

This isn't yet a done deal of course, but for Kendrick to report it is a clear signal that it's for real. I'd still put a higher priority on someone capable of improving the quality of supply into the box, but as a consolation prize this looks quite lovely. And of course, there's still nearly a week left before the window closes; maybe we can have both!

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