Reading the Sunday papers sports section I came across a sentence which surprised me: Aston Villa had received no enquires for Bent and according to the national press, only Newcastle United are interested in acquiring the services of the England striker. The reported transfer fee Aston Villa are after for Bent is £8,000,000, and for that price I’m astounded that not more clubs, arguably bigger clubs, aren’t interested in the ex Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland player.
Darren Bent has a proven top-flight goal scoring record, having notched up 93 goals in the Premier League during his career and 179 in all competitions. Bent possesses great pace, can hold up the ball and most importantly, knows where the back of the net is.
Four clubs that spring immediately to my mind are Arsenal, Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. All four clubs would benefit from having a player of Bent’s quality within their squad and the likelihood is that all four of them will be challenging for Champions/Europa League places, which I imagine would appeal to a player who spent last season with a club battling relegation.
Arsenal lack an out-and-out goal scorer, something they are trying to rectify by attempting to sign Gonzalo Higuín from Real Madrid. The fee for the Argentinian international is reported to be £22,000,000, £14,000,000 more than what Villa have been quoted as wanting for Bent. There is no doubting Higuín’s ability and his record of 107 goals in 187 games for Real Madrid speaks for itself. He is, however, untried in the English league and there is no guarantee that Higuín will be as potent a goal scorer as he was in Spain. In truth Arsenal are unlikely to table a bid for the Aston Villa front-man because of his previous time plying his trade for their North London rivals.
Everton are another side who lack an out-and-out goal scorer and have done for many seasons. Under the management of David Moyes, Everton at times played some very attractive football, but on too many occasions their football was not rewarded with goals. Although Moyes has moved on to take charge of Manchester United, his replacement Roberto Martinez is well known for producing good footballing sides. Martinez has been strongly linked with Arouna Koné, who he worked with at Wigan Athletic, to bolster his attacking options. Given the relationship between Koné and Martinez, and add the fact that Everton don’t historically have the biggest of transfer budgets (signing Koné would cost Everton around £5,000,000) the signing of Darren Bent is unlikely.
If you believe what you read in the papers then Liverpool are going to lose star striker Luis Suárez this summer, and if this does happen the Anfield faithful are going to demand a replacement, and understandably so. Being that Liverpool are considered one of the Premier leagues “big four”, they are likely to be linked with the likes of Sevilla’s Álvaro Negredo, Valencia’s Roberto Soldado or David Villa of Barcelona, not Darren Bent. If I were a Liverpool fan, the prospect of Darren Bent upfront alongside Daniel Sturridge, feeding off passes from Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho would excite me. Put Darren Bent in a Liverpool shirt next season and he’ll score you twenty goals, of that I’m confident. The Reds certainly have the financial power to acquire the Englishman; the only question would be whether or not he appeals to Brendan Rodgers.
There were a few reasons why Tottenham Hotspur missed out on a place in the Champions league last season and one of them was the lack of strikers available to them. Spurs had to play the entire season with only two recognised strikers, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermaine Defoe. It was a mystery to me why André Villas-Boas didn’t address this problem in the summer and an outrage that it was again ignored during the January transfer window.
Spurs have to bring in one or two strikers this summer and I think Darren Bent would be an ideal signing. Bent has of course played for Tottenham previously, scoring eighteen goals in sixty games. Bent’s previous spell at White Hart Lane wasn’t the happiest, especially after Harry Redknapp joined the club, but I believe AVB would treat Bent differently, would have a better understanding of his strengths and weaknesses and would know how to get the best out of him. Would he come back to N17? If he did, he’d bring goals with him.
No-one knows yet where Darren Bent’s future lies. What we do know though is that wherever he goes, he’ll score goals.