Don’t call him a wheeler-dealer whatever you do, but once again, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, seems to have made another masterstroke of a move in the transfer market. This time though, we aren’t talking about the arrival of one of the worlds best, but the departure of a player who could still have plenty to offer at White Hart Lane.
I am of course talking about David Bentley who has recently finalised a six-month loan move to Birmingham City. Regarded by many as deadwood at Spurs, the 26-year-old moves to St. Andrews in an attempt at defining his career and proving he is more than just a ‘big time Charlie’.
For a player who promised so much as a youngster coming through at Arsenal, Bentley has never really delivered. He often showed little glimpses of real class but consistency was rarely a part of his game. His move to Blackburn seemed to be ideal. Bentley was the big fish in a relatively small pond and it was a role he seemed to relish. The hat-trick he scored against Man United at Ewood Park showed just how much talent he has. Tottenham recognised that, and although £15 million was incredibly excessive, his arrival at the Lane was intended to be an indication of Spurs signing the best up-and-coming English talent.
But it never really happened for Bentley. The once hailed ‘new David Beckham’ was hardly justifying such a nickname or price tag. In two-and-a-half years, he saw first team opportunities become more and more limited and now with the likes of Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart performing the way they are, Bentley himself recognised his time was up.
But should be completely turn his back on Harry Redknapp and Tottenham Hotspur? I’m sure Harry hasn’t given up and him. And why should he? Say what you will about David Bentley, but we all know the talent is there, if not the attitude. Even that seems to be a lot more football focused now he is reaching his peak years.
Six months of quality, consistent performances at Birmingham could prove to be the catalyst for his Spurs career. Alex McLeish has offered a chance for Bentley to be the star at a club again and really show his worth. Going straight into the squad to face Aston Villa on derby-day, who would bet against him scoring the winner on Sunday?
Even if after a successful six months, Redknapp decides it is time for the former Arsenal man to move on, then Bentley’s spell at St. Andrews would have been a shop-window process. I’m sure clubs involved at Europa League level would be interested. At the right price, of course.
Will he turn into a player reborn? We shall have to wait and see, but Harry Redknapp has been in the business long enough to know not to give up on a real talent so quickly. Don’t be surprised if we see David Bentley back in a Tottenham shirt next season.