It has been three years since Darren Bent departed Tottenham Hotspur in a transfer by his own admittance that didn’t really come to fruition. His time at White Hart Lane; sandwiched distinctively in between spells at Ipswich, Charlton, Sunderland and now Villa, has been his only real chance in a team realistically competing for a place in England’s sought-after ‘top four’ positions.
But with Euro 2012 around the corner and Bent currently part of an Aston Villa side miserably trapped in that so-called transition phase, does the goal-hungry hitman deserve another shot at one of the Premier League’s ‘big’ clubs? Let us examine.
To begin, Bent is a goal scorer and always has been. When on top form he is capable of producing prolific tallies for the season. Much like fellow England international Jermain Defoe, Bent makes the hardest job in the game look easy in putting the ball in the back of the net. In this respect, Bent has been likened to Ian Wright in the past for his innate finishing abilities. The striker unsurprisingly represents Villa’s top scorer this campaign with nine league goals, and one in the FA Cup; a strike against Arsenal from a seemingly impossible angle.
But did this strike against a top four contender in Arsenal really alert any of the big guns? Again, not really.
It remains that many ‘top four’ chasing sides continue to overlook the attributes of Bent during transfer windows, paying credence to the popular belief that indeed his spell at Tottenham reflected truly that he can only cut it at mid-table and less glorified outfits. This view is nonsense. Bent deserves his chance.
With Champions League football missing from Bent’s CV, staunch Villains could not begrudge the England striker a move, if the opportunity arose this summer. Chelsea and Liverpool both lack of goal scorer of prolific capabilities and Arsenal need a foil for when Van Persie is not fit. Bent surely is the man.
Bent has always been on the fringes of the England squad, mainly being used during the qualification phases, only to be missing from the party of 23 selected for a major tournament. Again, a move to a ‘top four’ club would heighten his chances of being England’s second striker after Wayne Rooney of course. There is a lot to be said for being a member of a ‘big’ club and being rewarded with a consistent place in the England team. Just look at Theo Walcott, who has always been around the first-team set up since his time at Arsenal.
By his own admission, Bent isn’t enjoying the best of seasons in a mediocre Villa outfit struggling to accept the philosophies of manager Alex McLeish. Without employing the phrase ‘I told you so’, Bent may have remained at high-flying Sunderland who look like world beaters right now, but football changes in a short space of time.
Form is temporary, but class is permanent. Bent would suit the likes of Arsenal in that more often than not he finds the net. Arsenal have always lacked that ‘fox in the box’ type striker who is willing to score from any angle. All too often the Gunners try to score the perfect goal and Bent represents someone who is willing to take a shot on in a different approach. Of course, the Gunners have a prolific marksman of their own in Van Persie but with the metaphoric addition of Bent, he would hugely improve their attacking options in the entire squad.
At 28, Bent isn’t getting any younger and it is hard to pin-point just where his goals can take an under fire Aston Villa side this season. He may get his head turned if the ‘big four’ wake up and give him the call this summer. Darren Bent deserves his chance.
Is Darren Bent good enough for a ‘top four’ club or is he best suited where he is already? Follow me @ http://twitter.com/Taylor_Will1989
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