The Villans wanted the box-to-box midfielder back in 2012.
The then 24-year-old midfielder had impressed since joining Charlton from Oldham Athletic and was one of Paul Lambert's main targets in his big Football League recruitment drive at Villa which saw the likes of Ashley Westwood, Matthew Lowton and Joe Bennett all arrive at the club - with varying degrees of success.
But Stephens was blocked the move by Charlton who wanted to keep the player out of Villa's clutches.
Now, Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire has admitted that might have been a mistake. She told the South London Press yesterday:
"As much as I want to keep the players - and I will really try - sometimes it does not work to stop them. You cannot frustrate a player too long.
"With Dale Stephens, his agent came to me and asked for a transfer after we had blocked it.
"He was angry we did not allow him to move to a bigger club."
If he had been sold to Villa then he might not be playing for a team in the same league now, proving himself worthy of a potential Premier League dream.