After Brighton & Hove Albion completed the signing of Aston Villa striker Darren Bent on Wednesday, the Seagulls fans will be wondering if the former England striker still has the quality to produce the goods for them during his one month loan.
Bent was widely regarded as one of the best English strikers in the country during his time at Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic. During his time at Ipswich he managed 48 goals in 122 appearances included a goal in the Premier League during his first season as a full professional.
His form during his last season for Ipswich was exquisite contributing 20 league goals which helped The Tractor Boys finish in third place.
This form was the main factor for his £3 million move to Charlton, where he netted 31 goals in 68 games over two seasons but failed to keep them in the Premier League in his final season which meant Bent would want a move to stay in the Premier League.
Once again, Bent's exquisite form was the main factor why Tottenham broke their club record fee to sign the deadly striker for a whopping £16.5 million.
Bent would unfortunately digress after his impressive progress at Ipswich and Charlton during his first season under Juande Ramos and Martin Jol at Tottenham Hotspur.
On the move....again
Bent endured a torrid time at Tottenham during his first season mainly playing out on the wings so that Spurs could try and combine a strike-force that included Berbatov, Keane and Defoe (Until January 2008).
His second season, however, brought more success and finished Tottenham's top goal scorer in all competitions but there was still a sense that Bent was not happy at White Hart Lane.
Bent was subject to a transfer bid from Sunderland and took to the social media tool Twitter to insult the chairman of Tottenham, Daniel Levy, claiming he was disrupting the move.
The extraordinary deal rose to £16.5 million from the initial £10 million. Bent enjoyed a fantastic first season for the Black Cats netting 24 goals in 34 league games including two hat-tricks against Bolton and former side Tottenham. Bent started the 2010-2011 season impressively again by scoring five goals in the first six games of the season, however, Bent was unhappy and once again was on the move but this time forcing a move to the shock of many Sunderland fans.
Bent submitted a transfer request and moved to Aston Villa and yet again completed for another club record, this time £18 million but with the potential to rise up to £24 million. During his time at Aston Villa he has had rumblings with managers Alex McLeish and Paul Lambert contributing to many claims that Darren Bent has a rather enlarged ego which has affected his playing time.
Bent also struggled with several injuries including tearing his ankle ligaments, however, he still managed to finish top scorer in his first two seasons before the arrival of the prolific Belgian Christian Benteke in 2012-13. With Bent struggling to find first team football he moved on loan to Fulham during the 2013-2014 which was disastrous as Bent only managed to find the net three times in the league and Fulham ended up being relegated as they finished 19th.
Bent this term has only managed to make eight appearances for the Villains and seven of them have been from the bench. He does not seem to Paul Lambert's cup of tea as he has now been shipped down south to Brighton & Hove Albion.
A drop down a division may not be a bad thing for Bent as Brighton were one of the best sides in the Championship finishing in 6th position but unfortunately failed to get past the dreaded semi final of the play offs.
This season is a completely different story under new manager and former Liverpool centre half Sami Hyypia, as the Seagulls are floundering in the Championship lying two places above the relegation zone. This is where Hyypia is confident that a member of the 100 Premeier League goals club can bring his side more success.
"His record speaks for itself. He is a top-class striker with more than 100 Premier League goals with Charlton, Spurs, Sunderland and Aston Villa," Hyypia told the Brighton club website.
"Three years ago he was a regular in the England squad under Fabio Capello; there is no doubting his ability to score goals.
"He also wants to play regular games and that is evident in his willingness to step down from the Premier League to the Championship."
With centre half Lewis Dunk the top goalscorer with 4 league goals there is obviously something significantly wrong with the under performing strikers at Brighton and Bent will improve that.
Brighton take on one of Bent's former sides this weekend, Fulham, and he is expected to make his debut for the Seagulls.
Bent may not bring a lot to team build up but what he lacks in that sense, he more than makes up for in clinical finishing. Brighton have bagged themselves a great deal, if Bent can find his form from his England playing days and quickly.
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