The ‘Darren Bent’ Debate
On the 17th January 2011, England and then-Sunderland striker Darren Bent submitted a transfer request amid reports Aston Villa were on the verge of making a big money offer. The following day, the former Spurs forward completed a move believed to be in the region of £18million (rising to £24million with add-ons) to the Midlands' most successful football club. Since signing for the club Bent has gone on to score 22 goals in 49 games, averaging a goal in just over every 2 games.
October 19th, 2012
However, it is no secret that since he has signed for the club, we have gone backwards due to various reasons from manager changes to financial cutbacks. When clubs have to cut back they need players who are willing to give their all for the cause – and that has brought up the debate on the terraces and on many Aston Villa forums of whether we need Darren Bent or not!
Someone on a social networking site stated that Bent was a luxury that Aston Villa simply can’t afford to carry, and it is hard to argue against that statement. Darren Bent will score you goals without question, but when our backs are against the wall and Bent is on the field, it feels like Villa are playing with 10 men.
We need a striker who can offer more than just goals; someone who can hold up the ball when the defence needs that breather or the midfield are trying to get upfield to support the front man. We need a striker who cares about the club and not just his own personal ambitions. The kind of player that isn’t scared of being dropped, and fighting back to regain their place in the starting 11.
That is where the problem lies – Darren Bent isn’t that man, but on the other hand losing a player who scores a decent percentage of our goals could prove costly for us. It has always been said that those teams down the bottom need a man who will score you goals. We have that man don’t we? Tottenham fans always slated Bent because of his lack of work rate, and the chances he squanders. Villa fans are now seeing this for themselves.
However, the jury is still out, and the only opinion that matters is that of Paul Lambert!