Randy Lerner hasn’t spent much on players since his arrival at Aston Villa. However, one player who did cost him a lot of money was Darren Bent. He cost the club a massive £24 million in January 2011. Since his arrival, Bent has made sixty-one appearances and scored twenty-one goals for Villa, which is a shocking return for the amount the club paid for him.

It is not all bad, however. Over the last two seasons, we have seen Bent loaned out to various clubs and it is fair to say that he has done an average job for those clubs at best. Nevertheless, his current spell at Derby County is looking much more promising: he has made thirteen appearances so far and has scored ten goals. This is the form we would expect of a £24 million striker. Some would argue that his record is no surprise since Derby County is a club in the Championship rather than the Premier League. If you were to put the two leagues together, the Rams sit only ten places below the Villans and the Rams are among the favourites to gain promotion to the Premier League next season. Others would argue that the Villa squad doesn’t need a striker as it already includes Benteke, who is scoring more goals than Bent. I don’t think Bent is like Benteke: Benteke is a striker who comes into the midfield and wins the balls whilst Bent is more of a poacher. If you consider having Bent and Benteke up front, with Agbonlahor and maybe Sinclair (if he signs for us in the summer) to support them, then you have a very attractive front line which has pace, strength and the ability to score goals.

Sherwood would be better off keeping Bent at Aston Villa than allowing him to go for free when his contract expires because if for some reason we don’t get a new buyer in the summer then I seriously doubt Lerner will give Sherwood much, if any, cash to spend on quality players. Darren Bent has been, and can still be, a quality player. If he were to be given one extra season on his contract then I would be confident that he could come good for Villa. We cannot let his huge transfer fee go to waste. Some people may have forgotten that Bent used to be in the starting XI for the England team, which is a reminder that he has the experience and knowledge needed to be a good striking option for the Villans.

Many people will disagree with me, as they feel Bent is a waste of space and too expensive to have on our books but if a buyer doesn’t snap the club up then we need all the resources we can get our hands on. If Benteke were to be injured for half the season then who would to take his place? It’s important that Tom Fox and other key officials at the club think ahead: if the worst happens and we don’t find a buyer then we will have to be prepared for that situation.

Perhaps if we get through to the FA Cup final then we can be more confident about the new season, whoever our owner will be. As we wait for news, let’s just enjoy Sunday’s must-watch game and back our boys.




  1. Benteke, Agbonlahor, Weimann, Kozak, Robinson, Bent… Bent is the oldest/odd man out, I agree Sherwood could get him firing, but in the long term, I’d prefer Robinson get a spot, or we buy a younger striker in the range of 7-10 million

  2. 21 in 61 is hardly shocking. The shocking part is how badly he was mismanaged by Lambert. Unfortunately there is no way he will re-sign for Villa, and most likely he’ll be snapped up by one of the newly-promoted sides on a free.

  3. Bent belongs in Villa’s past and should remain there !
    As for costing a lotta dosh so what !
    There’s cheap rubbish & expensive rubbish . There are cheap players with quality & there can be quality players who cost a lot . But where does Bent fit in the scheme of things ? That’s difficult to determine as he has spells when he can perform well and others when he is to put it bluntly not worth his expensive price tag . And then there is his history as a player who performs well for the first season he is at a club , and then goes into a decline which is why he had several clubs before he joined Villa . Could he come back to Villa and be the player some dream his price tag indicates or will he just be the aging player looking to retain his status as a EPL player suspect that he has become ?
    Better to cut our losses and use his wages to pay a player who can perform 100% of the time ,especially as we have struggled with squad numbers more than quality this season

    • I think the point being made about signing Bent for one more year, is that we wont have to pay a transfer fee. Bent’s scored goals wherever he’s played. His goal ratio looks pathetic because Lambert would give him 10 minutes at the end of a game we were losing 2:0 and usually under PL, playing very badly. He was turfed out of the club and put on loan, not because he was playing badly, but because the club wanted to cut wages. Up until then, he had a good goal ratio. Bent has often said that he didn’t get the chance to play alongside Benteke, and for the most part, that’s true. I see Bent as a well paid victim of cost cutting from a cheapskate management that didn’t want to invest in going forward, coupled with the impact of having Paul Lambert as a manager. Lambert was very much Lerner’s YES man. Lerner knows about money, but not football. Lets pray that Sherwood remains his own man.

  4. I really couldn’t disagree more about Bent. He’s a player who doesn’t fit into modern top level football anymore. There is no real comparable goal poacher playing for any top level club anywhere in Europe. Teams now play with mobile versatile strikers rather than incredibly limited goal poachers who’s chances always need to be created for them. Falcao is probably the closest in the Premiership at the moment and he’s really struggling for goals too. Bent is a relic of the past, he probably kept us up when he came here first but his time is past so goodbye Darren and enjoy the rest of your career in the championship or on the bench.

    As for Derby being amongst the favourites for promotion, not anymore, IMO they’re going to be incredibly lucky to make the playoffs the way they’re playing at the moment.

  5. Aye some some say a drowning man will grasp at straws which is what the excuses for keeping Bent sound like . Easy to blame others for Bent’s failings , as an aging luxury Villa can not afford . Easy to forget the time he was captain & lead the team to failure . But should we just live in the past and remember only the few goals he produced in his first season with Villa . If your happy to for the club to continue to struggle the answer is yes , but the truth is we need to move forwards and not dwell in the past . Bent is an expensive luxury Villa can not & should not afford in the days when squad numbers are limited


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