One to Watch - Darren Bent
Name: Darren Bent
Date of Birth: 6/2/1984
Former Clubs: Ipswich, Charlton, Tottenham, Sunderland
League Appearances (Goals): 346 (146)
International Appearances (Goals): 13 (4)
Stat of the Day: Since August 2005 Darren Bent has scored 82 Premier League goals, equalled only by Wayne Rooney & Didier Drogba in the same period.
Had Harry Redknapp`s missus scored 146 league goals, won 13 full international caps and commanded a total of £47 million in transfer fees, then maybe she`d be featured as the one to watch; instead she`s probably wasting away Redknapp`s corrupt earnings while Darren Bent is focusing on Wednesday`s league game for Aston Villa against QPR, looking to improve on his 10 goals for the season. Surely it would be reasonable to grant a striker, who has been outside the top 10 goalscoring charts just once in his six seasons in the Premier League, a tiny bit of praise, but why as fans of an England international would we do that, when we can lambast him for having a slightly meagre first touch and an occasionally indolent attitude. You don`t need to tell QPR fans that finding a striker who can score goals on a regular basis is hard to come by, so the idea of facing Darren Bent could be seen as a scary thought.
Known for his killer instincts in front of goal, Bent is the type of predatory striker who gets on the end of the crosses and his fine movement in front of goal always sees him in the right place at the right time. Liverpool have been consistently linked with Bent this transfer window; it would make sense for the club to continue their newfound tradition of over-spending on overrated British players, however a large fee for the English striker would surely be justified. Ironically Bent struggles with finding the back of the net when he has more time than is needed, and as Spurs found out his build-up play can be very limited, often stifling the creativity and rhythm of the side. When the team is focused on providing numerous chances for their main striker, however, Bent thrives in his striking role and is the envy of many other teams, not least QPR.
Darren Bent progressed through Ipswich Town`s youth system, having joined the club at the age of 14, and eventually made his first team debut in 2001 in a 3-1 victory over Helsingborgs IF in the UEFA Cup. His haul of 55 goals in 116 starts at Portman Road saw him attract the attention of a number of Premier League clubs and Charlton Athletic eventually bagged his signature in June 2005 for an initial fee of £2.5 million. The striker made an instant impact with two goals on his Addicks debut on the first day of the 2005/2006 season. Bent finished the 2006/2007 season top goalscorer with 13 Premier League goals but unfortunately couldn`t prevent his club`s relegation to the Championship. His two year spell at Charlton brought 37 goals in 79 matches, a record that earned him a £16.5 million move to Tottenham.
Despite being branded an expensive flop at Spurs, Bent still managed a total of 18 goals in 60 appearances at White Hart Lane, despite limited first team opportunities. Sunderland soon swooped to sign Bent for a total of £10 million and began to reap the rewards for their significant signing. He managed eight goals in his first nine games for Sunderland, eventually finishing on 24 for the season, 50% of Sunderland`s total goals for that campaign. The following season he managed another 17 league goals and Aston Villa prised him away from The Stadium of Light in January 2011 with a fee of £18 million potentially rising to £24 million.