It’s been an interesting last two years for Darren Bent. The England international has been tracked by Newcastle United , but the news of a possible Bent transfer has created quite a debate as to whether the 29-year-old has lost the spark he had shown in previous seasons – despite suffering a number of injuries during his time at Villa Park.
Football FanCast put together a poll asking the readers if they think that a Darren Bent transfer would be a step backwards for Newcastle and 57 per cent disagreed with that claim. So could he be the answer to the Magpies’ problems?
Bent is without a doubt a talented player – something he proved during his time at Sunderland where he scored 32 goals in 58 appearances. He also drew quite some attention in an England shirt, playing 13 times and netting four goals. He is a striker with impressive technique and good positioning, which allows him to easily end up in the right place, at the right time. He proved that after finishing the 2009-2010 season as the Premier League’s third top scorer with 24 goals. Bent in his pomp could prove to be useful for the Toon as the team only scored 45 goals in 38 Premier League games last season.
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Bent left for Villa in January 2011, after scoring eight goals for the Black Cats, and netted nine more for the Villans as they finished in ninth place. The next year he scored the exact same amount of goals in the Premier League but suffered a severe injury that made him miss the rest of the season since February. Injuries do take their toll on footballers both physically and mentally and can influence the rest of their career, Bent for example only managed to score three goals last season, which equates to 0.19 goals per match. Villa finished just five points away from relegation and he lost his spot to an impressive Christian Benteke. This bad year and his history of injuries is something that the Magpies will have to deal with should the striker returns to the North.
Nevertheless, when a team wants to sign a certain player the first question is always: “How much?” According to the Daily Telegraph, Aston Villa’s price on Bent equals to £8million but the Toon want to drop it down to £5million. The money could be described as too much for a player that has suffered a severe leg injury and has failed to improve ever since leaving Sunderland. Of course right now we live in a period of financial turmoil that has not changed managements’ ways of dealing with transfers, as proven by the latest Gareth Bale saga and the mythical £100million touted to be coming from Real Madrid.
This possible transfer doesn’t only hold something for the club but also for the player himself. As a former Sunderland player Bent will be greeted with expletives from disappointed and frustrated Black Cats’ fans if he joins their local rivals Newcastle. On October 29 2011, the 29-year-old striker played his first match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and got booed every single time he got a touch on the ball. Now we could all assume that all that jeering would be doubled if he joins the Newcastle. Two years ago, the Aston Villa striker told the Daily Mail that he respects the Sunderland fans and that he owes them a lot. If he moves to Newcastle then what he said back then would count for nothing.
Truth is though; this transfer could be described as much needed from both sides. After failing to sign Lyon’s Bafetimbi Gomis, the Magpies need to bring a name quickly as Joe Kinnear, Newcastle’s new Director of Football, has not convinced the fans on his transfer abilities. We asked our readers if they thought the appointment of Kinnear was a mistake and an overwhelming 83 per cent agreed.
Bent would be a good solution as he has shown his worth in the past and managed to impress many sides, it’s no coincidence that Fulham are also interested in him. The striker wants another chance and if he joins the Toon he will be very aware that this could quite possibly be his last chance at glory. This would definitely be his last opportunity to be part of Roy Hodgson’s England side at the World Cup finals.
There is a lot more left in the tank for Bent and he could definitely bounce back and help Newcastle forget about their disappointing last season – hopefully resulting in a higher spot in the Premier League and a return to Europe.