There was an audible gasp heard Monday around the world when media organizations and Twitter declared that Sunderland had accepted the bid of £24m from Aston Villa for the services of one Darren Bent. Yes, that one.
There are two schools of thought about Bent. Some say he’s a footballing genius and a lovable chap. He is, after all, on Twitter. But there is the other camp who smirk when his name is said. Scored a lot of goals? Yes. But he’s no foreign striker.
Now my thought is that Bent is largely ignored in the Premier League parlance. Not because he’s not a brilliant player, he is. But because he doesn’t play for Arsenal or Manchester United or Liverpool or Tottenham or Manchester City. If he did, he would be worth a whole lot more. So in actual fact, I think £24m is a worthy sum for a player who, in a few years, will be sold for far more than £24m.
Plus he’s English. As financial regulations get tighter and Premier League clubs (and other European clubs) are encouraged to field a minimum of X number of players on the team from the home country, English players will climb in value and why they often seem overpriced for a relatively decent footballer.
In Bent’s case, he can be better. He has the raw talent to continue to succeed in the Premier League, at the top level. He’s a very jovial fellow, he plays video games and he’s got what it takes to score goals at the best league in the world. But can he do it with a big club? I don’t believe that club is Aston Villa either, but if he scores goals and lots of them at Villa, Darren Bent will make the club and Randy Lerner a lot of money.
Can he do it? It’s up to him. One Darren Bent.
P.S. The latest on the deal is that Darren Bent is the West Midlands Monday night discussing personal terms with Aston Villa and undergoing a medical. If Bent agrees the personal terms and passes the medical, all he has to do is put pen to paper and let the 2011 January transfer window kick-off. Expect a cascade of dominoes falling tomorrow as Sunderland will want to use that money wisely, but on who? Who should they buy? Share your ideas in the comments section below.