After spending last season struggling to break into the Aston Villa starting 11, mainly down to fitness issues and just not being part of Paul Lambert’s plans, Darren Bent will be looking to move on this summer.
The England international will still possess the quality clubs will be craving, as long as he remains fit. Therefore this article looks at three Premier League clubs that may be interested in the Aston Villa man.
The link between Bent and a move to Newcastle has been well reported, with the club expected to make a £6m bid in the near future.
Since the transfer of Demba Ba to Chelsea, Newcastle have struggled to replace the Senegalese international. In January they did sign Yoan Gouffran but, in my opinion, he failed to show the class needed to be a star striker at this level and hence is probably the reason Newcastle want Bent in their squad.
This, coupled with the recent reports stating that because of Papiss Cisse’s religious views on recent shirt sponsor of loan company WONGA, means Newcastle may have to sell the striker and see Bent as an ideal replacement.
In my opinion Newcastle and Cisse will sort out the situation and if Bent moves to Newcastle as expected, then a striker force containing himself and Cisse would trouble most defensive lines in the competition.
His transfer, coupled with the return of full fitness of Haten Ben Afra and Yohan Cabaye, should help Newcastle return to a top half finish and even be challenging for a Europa League place.
It has been widely known that Hull City are in the market for a new striker, with a recent proposed transfer of Charlie Austin for £4.5m collapsing after the player failed his medical.
Steve Bruce realises that to survive in their return to the top flight they will need a goalscorer in their team - and who would be better than Darren Bent, who has scored goals at every club he has played for.
If they were willing to pay £4.5m for Austin I’m sure a similar fee for Bent, plus add-ons of about £1.5m if the club avoid relegation, could persuade Villa to sell their striker.
After all a £1.5m add-on is peanuts compared to the money they would receive for remaining in the Premier League and would surely be money well spent.
A major issue to overcome would be the wage demands of the England striker, who might be slightly out of the range which Hull can offer to pay.
If they could pull of this transfer it would be a real coup but recent reports have linked Bruce with a move for Danny Graham of Sunderland for £5m, who isn’t in my opinion up to the same standard as Bent.
Consequently the transfer of Bent looks increasingly unlikely, although he would be a great asset for Hull to possess. Overall I would urge Steve Bruce to look into the possibility of signing him, as his goals alone could keep Hull in the Premier League.
West Ham are a team who are lacking in terms of strikers due to the release of Carlton Cole and the expiration of loan deals of both Marouane Chamakh and Wellington Paulista.
This coupled with the fact Ricardo Vaz Te has begun to play more as a winger and Modibo Maiga seems to be lacking the quality to make an impression on the Premier League. This means West Ham have only one quality striker in the shape of new signing Andy Carroll, although his fitness is an issue due to the injuries he has suffered in recent years.
It is therefore my opinion that Sam Allardyce will be in the market for a quality striker and could see Bent as a possible solution. Although wages would be that much of an issue at West Ham, would the club be willing to pay £6m for another striker after just paying £15.5m for Carroll.
There could be the solution of trying to get Bent on a loan deal with the option to buy him at the end of the season, but I’m unsure whether or not Villa would accept that proposal.
In addition to this would Bent just be swapping one bench for another bench, due to West Ham playing with one up top and that will surely be Carroll after signing him for the fee which was paid.
To conclude, it is my opinion that Bent will be a Newcastle player in the near future, but if this move fails to materialise then this article has analysed two other potential avenues for the England striker.
There will surely be further interest from other clubs in the Premier League and even potentially across Europe, so I fully expected that Bent will leave Aston Villa this summer.
The question just remains: where will he be plying his trade next season?
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