Darren Bent's loan move to Fulham has presented the striker with a chance to kickstart his career.

The England international spent most of last season languishing amongst the Aston Villa substitutes and reserves, as Paul Lambert opted to put his faith in young prospects - most notably, Christian Benteke.

But, still in his twenties, Bent has a lot more goals left in him before he considers hanging up his boots. The £18m plus forked out for him two years ago is testament to that.

As he gets older, his pace will become less of a threat to defenders. But it is his ability to finish in and around the penalty area that is arguably the forward's greatest asset.

He is the sort of player who can convert a half-chance into a goal, and that is why Fulham have struck a great bit of business with their loan deal.

With regular first-team football, he can quickly regain the type of form that yielded 24 league goals in his debut season with Sunderland. And in a World Cup year, this move could not have come at a greater time.

Meanwhile Fulham have parted ways with striker Mladen Petric this summer, which had left them with only Dimitar Berbatov and Hugo Rodallega as out-and-out first team forwards. Bent will supplement that selection, and he will be hoping to form a clinical partnership with another of these attackers.

He has seemingly done well at smaller clubs, like Ipswich, Charlton and Sunderland. His time with Spurs wasn't as productive, but he'll be hoping that this return to the capital will be more like his tenure at the Valley.

In two great seasons with the Addicks, he bagged 31 Premier League goals, which was almost enough to send him to the 2006 World Cup - a disappointment he can appease over the coming nine months.

Rickie Lambert's recent England debut showed how short the national team is of strikers and the opportunity is well and truly there for players to put themselves in the shop window for a flight to Brazil next summer.

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#England Football
#Premier League
#World Cup
#Aston Villa
#Darren Bent
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