Darren Bent has finally left Aston Villa, and no disrespect to them as a club but he was hardly given his fair share of games. Being omitted from the side and kept on the bench more often than not didn’t do him any favors last season. Had he been given regular game time, his fitness levels would have stayed at a good level, and he may well have helped Villa in the long run in terms of their reliance on Christian Benteke to get the goals for them.
He was Aston Villa’s club record signing back in 2011 after they paid Sunderland £18m for his services, but the obvious emergence of Benteke and a year blighted by injuries saw Bent only manage six goals last season. This loan move to Fulham now gives him an opportunity to regain his fitness, hopefully stay injury-free, and maybe get back into the frame for a place in the national team. He is a rather good finisher when given the chance, and if he is going to be linking up with Berbatov this season, we may see some very nice goals from Fulham. It will also be the second time Darren Bent would have worked under Martin Jol’s management; Jol brought him in 2007 from Charlton whilst he was manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
We never really got to see the best of him at Aston Villa, and whether it was due to injury or just not being picked, he never flourished into the striker we know he can actually be. During his time at Sunderland in particular, he really did show his worth more often than not. During that time he was also securing a place in the England team, and with the World Cup fast approaching, he will be hoping that he can impress manager Roy Hodgson and give him something to think about when he picks his team for the World Cup, should England qualify. He hasn’t made an appearance for his country since prior to Euro 2012.
He is a rather clinical finisher when a chance comes his way. He isn’t the fastest striker around, nor is he the tallest and most physical, but he does offer Fulham a very good option going forward. He will find spaces in and around the 18-yard area, he will cause defenders problems with his movement, and a fully fit Darren Bent could well guarantee you 15 goals a season.
Bent scored 36 goals in 63 appearances during his time with Sunderland but struggled to replicate that form at Aston Villa, although he did still manage to score 25 goals in 64 matches. These are not bad records considering his time on the sidelines at Villa. At Sunderland he was as clinical as ever, and teams found it hard to stop him in front of goal.
His time at Tottenham probably wasn’t the most enjoyable for Bent, as he struggled at times to break into the side, and with the likes of Jermain Defoe at Tottenham and the finishing he has in his locker, it’s rather understandable. At Fulham though, he will be linking up with the likes of Berbatov, Taarabt, and Ruiz, all of whom are very talented and stylish players on the ball. As we know, Berbatov can make plenty of things look easy, Taarabt is a very skillful player who can create plenty of chances for Bent, providing his delivery into the area is very good, and Bryan Ruiz is exactly the same.
Playing alongside these three amongst other at Fulham, there is no reason why Bent can’t be a star player for them this season. They haven’t strengthened too much in this summer window, and may well be contenders for the drop, so it is vital that Bent, Berbatov and the others all hit the ground running from the off, as they will be crucial to Fulham’s season.
I’m sure Martin Jol will be looking at how Bent will link up with those three players in particular and will want to see it at full strength as a main part of Fulham’s play this season. If it is to work out, then the way Fulham play will probably be stylish and fluently. They will move the ball around well and the goals they score will be rather enjoyable as well. The movement from Bent into different positions will be crucial for Fulham, and providing he gets into the right positions and is picked out, then he will no doubt bury those chances.
Written by OneFutbol