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Darren Bent to Aston Villa for £24m? Are You Having Me On?

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.

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  1. Simon Burke

    January 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Its not a good deal but its a good buy if it makes any sense.
    Taking aside the cost, Bent is a player that gets goals and for a club in jeopardy its a terrific signing.
    They’ll likely never recoup the cash, or even 75% of it but in the immediate future they need goals and I am sure he’ll chip in with a few. If it keeps them up then its a good signing and I am sure he’ll help.

  2. DoublePivot

    January 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    One of the things I’m hearing on Spurs end, is that we had add-on from the sale of Dent that might have driven the price higher. We are supposedly making 4 million on this. So on a day where we picked up Pienaar, we still made 1.5.

    Not sure if this is just grandstanding on the part of some spurs supporters, but I kind of believe we would have the add-ons.

  3. LI Matt

    January 18, 2011 at 9:48 am

    AFAIK, six English players have transferred for more than £20 million: Ferdinand, Rooney, Beckham, Milner, Lescott, and Wright-Phillips. Three Citeh dirt-trackers, two over-30s who aren’t worth anything like £20 million today, and Rooney.

    Do you want to argue that Bent doesn’t belong in that class?

  4. The Gaffer

    January 18, 2011 at 7:03 am

    One of the tabloids in England is reporting that Sunderland are interested in using the money from the Bent deal to buy Roman Pavlyuchenko. Depending on how little they can buy him for, within reason, this could be a very good deal for Sunderland.

    The Gaffer

  5. SoccerLimey

    January 18, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Ridiculous amount of money for a striker who is not international class. Now people might say “Ee don’t need him to be an international striker. We just need him to score in the Premier League”.

    The point is that he will get goals for you, just never when it really matters against the good defenders. Kevin Phillips has always scored goals, but never the important ones.

    Sunderland must be laughing all the way to the bank on this one.

  6. Paul

    January 17, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    As a Villa fan, I am excited. Here is My team sheet (Assuming we sell Young to the scouse scum)


  7. GiovaNYC

    January 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Decent post, but one thing you gotta fix. You say: “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.” Actually, Tottenham sold him to Sunderland for 10 mil, remember? That, after buying him from Charlton for 16.5.

  8. JC

    January 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I agree that Bent is underrated, but they’re essentially giving up all their Milner money for him. If they move Ashley Young, have they helped their side? Bent & Ireland for Milner & Young and a few million pounds. Seems like an odd plan to me.

  9. Daryl

    January 17, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    As I understand it, it’s 18m to begin with, potentially rising to 24m. Still, 18m is a lot, and so like most people I’m guessing it’s financed by the sale of Ashley Young (Liverpool?)

    Will be interesting to see how Steve Bruce spends that pile of money. One rumour today linked Sunderland with Borussia Moenchengladbach’s US midfielder Michael Bradley, who I think would do pretty well.

  10. VICTOR

    January 17, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    You are welcome to him. He’s missed more than he’s scored even last season. Now Sunderland will really go places.

  11. Jefrey

    January 17, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    “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.”

    Gaffer, that has to be one of the dumbest things you’ve written. What makes you think a 27 year old’s value will rise? He has been a good striker but not prolific. I think Villa will regret paying so much for him. Just ask Harry Redknapp about Bent who when he missed a sitter said his granny could have put that away, or something to that effect.

    Maybe now liverpool can ask for 50 million for Torres and start rebuilding asap. This will definitely drive the price of other players for sure.

    • The Gaffer

      January 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm

      Jefrey, good counterpoint. “A few years” is pushing it, but I can see him getting signed by another team after Villa, especially if he continues his hot goal scoring record. Maybe a Manchester City or another English team next January who are desperate for a natural goal scoring striker to rescue them from relegation?

      The Gaffer

      • maybe?

        January 17, 2011 at 9:51 pm

        not very likely city are top 4 get over it

  12. DGS

    January 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I hope Sunderland will try and can convince SAF to sell Welbeck on a permanent basis.

    • maybe?

      January 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      i hope sunderland take adebayor

  13. BringBackLaursen

    January 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Alexei, you’re suggesting that Houllier has addressed the wage bill but word has it we’re going to pay Bent 70 grand a week. Add to that the wages we’re paying Makoun and Pires and the only sgnificant departure has been Sidwell. Doesn’t seem to me the wage bill is going down really.

  14. Ussrdolphin

    January 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    I’m sad that he’s leaving our club. But he’s leaving because we couldn’t give him our undivided love. We liked Gyan and Welbeck too. Tell Bent everyday that he’s the greatest striker that you’ve ever seen and he’ll be happy. Try to get him to be part of something bigger and you find out why he is not playing for one of the top two. Spurs found this out. So did we. Hope he does his cruciate the ungrateful bastard..

  15. Johnny C

    January 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    “£24m is a worthy sum for a player who, in a few years, will be sold for far more than £24m.” He’s about to have his 27th birthday so it’s highly unlikely his value will rise. Good luck to him and to Villa but Sunderland are the winners here.

  16. Alexei

    January 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    There has alway been money to spend. General Charles Krulak (Villa Director) has stated on many Villa forums that Martin O’neill had money to spend but that he first had to address the spiralling wage bill at the club, O’neill refused to do this and resigned 5 days before the season kicked off. Also people forget that Martin O’neill spent 100 net on players in his 4 seasons as Villa manager.

  17. jimb

    January 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    If or when Darren Bent leaves sunderland ,Sunderland will want to use that money wisely, but on who?I think good signings would be stewart downing,adam johnson and a striker whos back to full fitness and out of contract in july and think would do well for us is ruud van nistelrooy, he would be ideal for heading the goals in for us .

  18. jimb

    January 17, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    If or when Darren Bent leaves sunderland ,Sunderland will want to use that money wisely, but on who?I think good signings would be stewart downing,adam johnson and a striker whos back to full fitness and out of contract in july and think would do well for us is ruud van nistelrooy, he would be ideal for heading the in for us .

  19. Jean-Christian

    January 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Well, at least he plays video games.

  20. BringBackLaursen

    January 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    It’s a lot of money and let’s face it, we all thought he was horribly over priced when he went to Spurs. It’s certainly a good piece of business for Sunderland and let’s hope he does the business for Villa. If he does, he could be the player we’ve been waiting for for a long time and all those that are laughing at this deal and calling it desperate will have to eat their words. If he doesn’t deliver though and by deliver, I mean score 25+ goals per season thsis could turn out to be one heck of an expensive mistake.

    Let’s be honest, this isn’t a dead cert, it’s a gamble, let’s just hope it’s an inspired one.

    BTW… where did the money suddenly come from? Is Randy dipping into his own pocket for this? If so, how did a manager like Houllier (who let’s face it has been pretty poor so far) convince him to do so when Martin O’Neil, who consistantly delivered good results, obviously couldn’t!

    • The Gaffer

      January 17, 2011 at 7:21 pm

      BBL, Villa may have an Ashley Young deal on the table from Liverpool, which will give them the necessary funds to buy Bent if Young leaves.

      The Gaffer

  21. Alexei

    January 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Will he really be off in a couple of seasons? Remember we have Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and the young up and comer Albrighton (great delivery this kids got) to supply the ammunition. Villa could really become serious contenders.

  22. Matt

    January 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Of course, Bent did play for Tottenham, at least when Mrs. Redknapp wasn’t fit.

  23. Muffin

    January 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Villa desperately need a quality finisher, Darren Bent definitely fits the bill. He will me moving to a top club (sixth place finish for the past three seasons), and a club very much on the move, and moving in the right direction. Good business for Sunderland too, so everyone wins.

  24. Villain-from-Texas

    January 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Agreed. The numbers don’t lie: He scores lots of goals. Over the last 4.5 seasons, Rooney and Drogba have scored 82 league goals, the most in the EPL. Bent has scored 81.

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