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Report: Sunderland Sells Darren Bent to Villa

According to news reports today, Aston Villa have made a major move to fill a desperate need, signing Darren Bent from Sunderland for a reported £18 million transfer fee.

At the moment, the Black Cats are 12 points ahead of the relegation zone, where Villa reside at the moment. Will this be a reversal of fortunes for the two clubs? It will be interesting to see what Sunderland does with the money recouped from Bent’s sale. Will they try to secure Danny Welbeck long term? Will they go after another striker (the Soccernet story purports Michael Owen to be a potential target)? Steve Bruce’s connection to Sir Alex makes these two possibilities feasible. While Welbeck is secure under loan for the remainder of the season, Sunderland would almost certainly look for a long term option, if not in this window the next.

For Villa, this should help them get out of relegation trouble and finish respectably. Gerard Houllier has certainly caused some supporters to question his handling of the club thus far, but adding Bent should add stability and quality to the front line. It is a steep price to pay, but they did have unspent funds from the transfer of James Milner to Manchester City. Randy Lerner needed to make a statement to reassure fans that he was committed to winning football, and this move is a step towards that end.

Would Welbeck and Asamoah Gyan be enough of a striker tandem to help Sunderland secure a Europa League slot? I don’t believe so. They have 13 goals between the two of them, but one wonders if those goal totals look differently without a dangerman like Bent drawing a defense’s attention. My opinion is that Sunderland have lost a major component to their attack, and need to make a push to fill Bent’s shoes in order to maintain a top half finish.

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  1. Terry

    January 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    According to the latest reports Sunderland has agreed to a 24 million pound offer. Now that’s just absurd! What on earth is Aston Villa doing?

  2. Earl Reed

    January 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    There are also rumors that Sunderland may be looking to grab American international Michael Bradley from Borussia Monchengladbach with some of this cash.

    • MennoDaddy

      January 17, 2011 at 5:11 pm

      Now THAT I can definitely get behind. Bradley would do well at a club like Sunderland, and his stock has been rising since the World Cup.

  3. dominjon

    January 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    If they had given MON half that money in the summer he’d have been happy and Villa would be in a European spot right now, rather than looking at a potential relegation fight, and having to pay silly money for a proven goalscorer to try and avoid that.
    Also there are reports in the Dutch media that Liverpool have offered the same amount for Suarez and if they up a couple of million they are willing to sell. Of course that could be BS, but I know which would be a better deal.

  4. JC

    January 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Somewhere, Martin O’Neill is going “uh, what?”

  5. Jason

    January 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    18 million pounds? Daylight robbery.

  6. fts

    January 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    this probly means that danny welbeck’s loan will be made permanent. let’s see if they can hold on to jordan henderson now…

  7. IanCransonsKnees

    January 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    The question that must be asked is if Darren Bent is worth £18m how much is Sandra Redknapp worth?

  8. Dave C

    January 17, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Didn’t O’Neill leave Villa because they supposedly didn’t have the funds for any big signings?

  9. brn442

    January 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Bent is worth 18 pounds? – If I were Bruce I wouldn’t wait for Bent to hand in a transfer request. I would already have him boxed up and shipped.

  10. Michael Hammond

    January 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

    He will do well there and exactly what Villa need. We would of went straight down without his goals so in many ways, its a similar role he will be filling. Everybody thought Bruce was mad to sell Jones but then he pulled Gyan out of the bag. Excited to see who he brings in to replace Bent. It seems strange that it is all happening mid season but I am sure the true reasons will all come out in the wash…

  11. ARW

    January 17, 2011 at 9:58 am

    You Sunderland boys are wise fellows, all fair points.
    A high fee but something we desperately need, and he should get a few with Albrighton putting balls across the 6 year box.
    Should have bought him many years ago even though as a rule of thumb I am not a fan of players who need a bit of molly coddling.

    On your side I would be a little concerned with injury worries, you may be left with three strikers better than our current three but they don’t seem the most hardy sorts, hard pitches cannot help.
    Good luck in the season, hope to be playing you again next year…eeek!

    • MennoDaddy

      January 17, 2011 at 10:08 am

      This season, it’s probably not worth quibbling over a few million pounds. Villa desperately needs goals in the back of the net in order to avoid the drop. If that means overspending for a slightly overrated England international with a proven goal-scoring record, then so be it. As a Spurs fan who’s neutral on both Villa and Sunderland, I think it’s a good signing and hope it means Villa stays up.

      • ARW

        January 17, 2011 at 10:35 am

        Hear! Hear!

  12. Michael Hammond

    January 17, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I would snap their hands off for that price! He looks good when your always hitting on the break but he’s fu*@ed when you try and play football! I can understand why Spurs got shot of him the way he has been playing this season. Use some of the coin to get Welbeck as him and Gyan work best together out of the lot of them! He will always get goals though so good luck to him and Villa!

    • MennoDaddy

      January 17, 2011 at 9:35 am

      I’ve always considered Darren Bent to be the Cris Carter of the EPL.

      Buddy Ryan made a famous comment about Carter years ago — “All he does is catch touchdowns.” Same with Bent — prolific goal scorer, though I’d suggest that Carter was a better all-around American football player than Bent is an all-around footballer. Still, Villa really does need someone to put the ball in the back of the net these days.

  13. MennoDaddy

    January 17, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Wow. I just hope Spurs had a hefty sell-on clause. Didn’t they sell Bent to Sunderland for £10m?

    • Earl Reed

      January 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

      I think that’s what was reported. Not a bad return on investment for Sunderland.

      I’ve also made some edits here and there, sorry if I throw anyone off. I wanted to be sure I gave Villa their due, because this will definitely improve their chances going forward.

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