Should he stay or should he go?

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One of the great debates among Villa fans in recent seasons has centred on Darren Bent. Has the striker been worth the £18 million or more that Gerard Houllier paid for him? Should Bent still be an Aston Villa player? It seems Villans are split right down the middle.

Some fans see the thirty-year-old as being our best striker to start the new season with as Kozak and Benteke will both still be injured come the opening day of the 2014-15 campaign. A lot of these supporters are still very grateful to Villa’s record signing for some crucial goals against the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal, which effectively kept Villa in the Premier League, during the latter stages of the 2010-2011 season.

To many, it appears that Bent has an attitude problem. His work rate tends to be very poor in comparison to other players on the pitch and he never seems to really put a shift in but one could argue that hassling opposing players is not part of his game as he’s there to do one job and one job only – score goals. Another reason some Villans believe he has an attitude problem is that, during a spell when he was injured and not available to play, Bent was spotted shopping rather than watching the game and supporting his team-mates. An attitude problem would also explain Paul Lambert dropping Bent from the starting XI to the ‘bomb squad’ and stripping the striker of the captain’s armband not long after awarding it to him in 2012.

In the past, there have also been suggestions that Bent has caused controversy in the dressing room. In 2012, we heard rumours that both Darren Bent and Chris Herd had been dropped from the first team temporarily as Villa staff tried to resolve a conflict between the two after Bent was accused of  ‘stealing’ the Australian’s girlfriend.

Darren Bent spent last season on loan with Fulham, a team that suffered relegation from the Premier League in May. Despite the Cottagers’ struggles in the league and their failure to score too many goals, Bent never really managed to cement a place in the team and made many appearances from the substitutes’ bench, scoring three times.

Is it time to sell Bent or should we keep him and see what he can produce when the season starts? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Bent has to go. He will help us recoup a few million. Turkish clubs are interested in him, and he will surely look interested in the move, even if he has to take a small pay cut.

    It is not just about Bent’s attitude. He will have been extremely demoralized with his spell with Fulham and is already at the fringes in Aston VIlla. No, I don’t see him being interested in playing for Villa anymore, and given that Turkish clubs have no real big players among them, Bent could actually make a difference in Turkey. He will go for 4 or 5 million, at the least. He may go even for more.

    As for the striker conundrum at the beginning of the season, I see Nicklas Helenius fitting in. Anyway Robinson and Grealish got Premier League game time, I think our forgotten man can realise his dream here. I agree he is unsettled and so on, but then give him a few good friendlies, and he will feel better. I really want Lambert to use every player committed to him at his disposal, but Bent I would prefer as an opponent than in my team.

  2. The truth is who in their right mind would buy Darren Bent at the moment? He will linger on until his contract expires. Of course he might tease us all with 3-4 goals but that’s it. His attitude has been bad for a long time and every club that has given him a chance since Sunderland has lived to regret it. Nothing short of a daily head butt (Cork handshake) during preseason from Roy Keane will improve his work rate and attitude.

  3. He (Darren Bent) should stay. He has to be fully utilized. He’s arguably the best finisher we’ve got (a fully fit and firing Benteke apart), and if we sell him for pocket change there is very little chance that we will be able to bring in better.

    It’s going to be an extremely challenging season, we need all the allies we can muster, and while keeping Bent wont make our survival task any the easier, offloading him now and going with the likes of Agbonlahor, Weimann, Robinson etc., will be an unnecessary gamble that reason dictates we simply don’t have to make.

  4. If we had only paid 1 or 2 million it would be an easy choice. With the huge amount we paid for him (and which he justified by keeping us up) there is an economic need to use him if we can. I suspect that, like with many others of “the bomb squad”, he has fallen victim to some “Lambert agenda”. No idea what this is (or was) but he along with Charlie N’Zogbia, and to some extent Alan Hutton, (no I don’t want him but there was a lot of hassle with the right back position last season), one has to question whether all of these players are just not good enough or if there is some Lambert agenda which has kept them out. Hutton was a bit of an animal but he was effective. Bent scored goals when he was asked to. If we had produced players that could replicate this then ok but we have not. These players are on high wages and need to justify that – surely not in dispute. Of course if we could offload them and replace them with someone more suitable it would be better but we have singularly failed to do that thus far.so perhaps they need to earn their bloody crust!

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