Crying Over Darren Bent – Why?
Apparently, Newcastle have left Darren Bent’s representatives “unimpressed” with their derisory offer for the player.
Personally, I’m unimpressed that we were in for him at all and I can’t quite see why there is so much gnashing of teeth over the ‘failure’ to buy him.
Ignoring the fact that a huge dose of salt should be applied to any story over negotiations with Bent since Newcastle had yet to offer a fee which matched Aston Villa’s valuation, has anyone actually looked at Darren Bent’s career, the kind of player he is, and whether he is likely to be well past his best?
If not, you may want to take a look at what he’s done recently:
Darren Bent is 29 and will hit 30 in six months. There aren’t many centre forwards who get better after they are 30 years old. The fact that Alan Pardew wanted Bent says far more about his short-term focus rather than his genuine wish to build a team which is going to get better.
Bent seemed to have peaked in his spell at Sunderland but, even then, he was a player who scored goals and didn’t do much else. Aston Villa were taken to the cleaners by vastly over paying in both transfer fee and wages for a player who would score a few goals after his move but hasn’t done a lot since then. Fortunately, Steve Bruce was in charge of the windfall that came his way…
In the 2011-2012 season, Bent scored 10 in 25 appearances – pretty good, but worse than his previous ratio in 2010-11. Last season, he scored 6 in 23, and offered very little to Villa’s cause. In fact, Bent has been getting progressively worse and there is little evidence that he would be a good signing for us at any price, given his age and likely wages. Aston Villa know this and it is why they want rid of him.
I don’t think that Darren Bent was ever a serious option because it was always clear that Pardew wanted to buy him and, as we know, he has been marginalised and may even be sacked soon. Talk of a loan move (with an option to buy) for Remy has increased and that would certainly make more sense because it would buy Newcastle leverage with Lyon over Gomis as well. Signing Remy would probably see us through to Christmas because he is unlikely to be incarcerated before then if he is charged with rape and then subsequently found guilty. Don’t think that Newcastle aren’t thinking along such cynical lines – they will be.
Signing Remy (who is a good player, irrespective of other issues) would be adequate in terms of giving us striking options short-term but I don’t think that means we wouldn’t still be after Gomis, either now or in the January transfer window. At that point, Lyon’s stance over their fee will be even weaker and they will be fortunate to get €3m for him. It’s for that reason, I think they will sell in the next few weeks for the figure that Newcastle have on the table, which is an offer that already reflects that he is their top target, short or long-term.
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