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What now for Darren Bent?

One of the questions that Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert must answer this summer relates to the club’s record transfer Darren Bent. The England international forward has been frozen out of the team following the signing of Christian Benteke, and is in dire need of regular first-team football.

Although Bent looks odds-on to leave Villa Park with, there is a case to be made that the forward could still rekindle his career in Birmingham. The player’s future may well be linked in with Benteke’s fate, as should Villa sell the Belgian forward Bent could be in line for a recall.

Bent’s goalscoring record in the Premier League is better than a lot of players at similar stages in his career, and when he was on form he has shown the Villa faithful that he can hit the back of the net with regularity. However, Bent’s confidence, eye for goal and fitness have all diminished after an injury plagued and out-of-form season.

One thing is for sure – a decision over Bent needs to be made. Either it is sell him or start to give him more game time. The 29-year-old will be on considerable wages at the club, which cannot be justified if he is not playing and scoring goals on a regular basis. A transfer fee would be welcomed by the club – however Villa will make a massive financial loss on Bent if he is sold.

It appears that Benteke and Bent are not compatible in playing together, and it is down to Gabby Agbonlahor or Andreas Weimann to accompany the Belgian in attack. However, if Bent was to stay fit and show a keen interest in challenging Benteke for a starting berth, it would be good for the club and for both players.

Darren Bent’s time at Aston Villa has not been as memorable as the fans would have liked, and his future looks certain to be decided one way or the other this summer.

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