The fact that Darren Bent has not even come close to signing for one of the league’s top teams is a mystery to me. This is no flash in the pan or one hit wonder we are talking about. Here is a player that has constantly reached double figures in the league season after season. So why exactly are the top managers not willing to snap up a proven goal scorer?
Arsenal would have been a perfect fit for Bent as they are a team that creates numerous chances during each game. However yet again Arsene Wenger takes another gamble on an unproven foreign import in the £10 million signing of Gervinho. Of course Van Persie will be a mainstay at the emirates for years to come but he is prone to injury and is unlikely to last a whole season.
So who is there to take the goal scoring burden? Bendtner? Chamakh? Even new boy Gervinho is not considered as an out and out striker. Arsenal are in need of someone to stick the ball in the back of the net on a regular basis and I see Darren Bent as an ideal solution.
However in the modern game we know it seems in vogue to have strikers that have more to their game than knowing where the goal is. Managers prefer a player that can build up play, by dropping back into midfield and adopt more of a playmaker role i.e. Wayne Rooney . Or even the workhorse type player, hell-bent on chasing every stray ball into the corner. Bent will give you neither of these attributes. But this is not to say the role of a simple goal poacher is any less important to a team and I think is actually a rare commodity to find in a player nowadays.
An interesting aspect to bring up regarding a player’s goal scoring exploits is looking at the quality of the opposition the goals were scored against. When looking at Peter Crouch ’s impressive England goal ratio, the thing that stand out most is the majority were scored against so called smaller nations i.e. Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago etc. but this argument does not wash with Bent’s career goals, having scored against some of the best defences in the League of many occasions. Most recently scoring a brace against Arsenal at the end of last season.
Having finally secured his place in the England starting 11, I see Bent being vital to any hopes the nation has of being successful at Euro 2012. In my opinion he is the natural replacement for Michael Owen and the potential partnership with Rooney looks promising.
On a personal note and as an Aston Villa Fan it’s a great feeling to have a player in the team who is easily capable of scoring 20 goals a season. A feeling that I and many villa fans have not has since a young Dwight Yorke graced Villa Park. (And to a lesser extent Juan Pablo Angel) Unfortunately the cynic in me thinks that being English works against Darren. Fans want to see exciting flair players with exotic names on the team sheet. Maybe El Darren Bentino would be more of an exciting prospect.
By the way if Mr Wenger does happen to come across this article, please ignore these deluded ramblings of a mad man and keep your hands of our Darren!
Written by Tim Baughan from This is Futbol