Benteke’s exit is all-but complete, and HLN has reported that Villa are interested in signing Obbi Oulare as his replacement.
Oulare, 19, currently plays for Club Brugge in Belgium, and enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2014/15 - which resulted in him winning his first Under-21 cap for the Red Devils.
He played 30 games, scoring seven goals and registering four assists, as Brugge went on to win the Belgian Cup.
Naturally a centre-forward, Oulare looks to be following the footsteps of Benteke in his style of play. The 19-year-old is 6ft 5in, and is a bulking presence in the final third, yet never appears to be not in control of his body.
He would be labelled as a classic target man style forward, like Benteke, but is actually a much better all round footballer than expected.
As a signing for Villa, Oulare looks to be a fantastic prospect. However, he should not be the only player the Birmingham-based club bring in to replace Benteke.
When Benteke arrived at Villa Park, he was already proven in Belgium, with a number of seasons behind him. Whereas Oulare has just one full campaign to his name, and has yet to truly establish himself as a top level striker.
If he was to be signed by Villa, the youngster would be thrust into the Premier League, likely as a first-team starter, and the step up could prove too much.
Tim Sherwood would do well to sign Oulare, but he needs to ensure that another player is also signed to take the mantle of main striker. The Belgian youth international would be a great impact sub, given occasional 90 minute outings to aid his development into the striker he has shown he could become.
Oulare has shown all the talents to suggest that he could become a real star, and securing first-team football will be vital to him developing to the best of his abilities.
However, Villa would be relying on him far too much if signed as first-choice striker, and although Sherwood should look to sign Oulare, it should be another forward coming to the club to take up Benteke’s mantle as key man in Villa’s attack.