News emerged yesterday from the MailOnline that Darren Bent is now up for sale, with the Midlands club looking to recoup as much of the £18million that they paid Sunderland back in January 2011, and the rumour mill will now no doubt go into over-drive suggesting who should try and sign him. QPR will no doubt be mentioned, thanks to their money (though the presence of Harry Redknapp might be an issue), Sunderland are likely to see their hats thrown into the ring, and Liverpool will no doubt emerge as one of the favourites to sign him, thanks to their well-publicised need for striking reinforcements.
But would Bent be a good fit for Liverpool? We’ve been over the facts, and it certainly looks like it. Here’s why…
1. He Scores Goals
Though he is currently third choice at Villa behind new signing Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor, Bent’s record at Aston Villa remains impressive, especially for someone who has spent so long on the sidelines. His 22 goals from 52 appearances is an impressive return considering the context of his situation, and though it appears he is on his way out of the door, he has been invaluable to Villa when on form.
The problem for Villa is he doesn’t play the right way, and in their system he looks very much like a luxury player: he doesn’t track back into midfield to collect the ball, and he isn’t big or strong enough to win the ball high up the pitch. The result is, he rarely gets the ball, and has to profit from minimal chances – that he has scored any goals at all for Villa is an achievement in itself.
But removing Villa’s system from the equation, Bent clearly has goals in him: given the right service, he can be a nightmare for defences, and though he missed more chances than he scored at Sunderland, they wouldn’t turn down someone of his type now. To date he has an impressive 149 league goals from 355 appearances to his name, and this is despite working with managers who clearly didn’t fancy him in the past, or playing for teams he saw as developmental stages in his career.
Given the right chance, in a top team, Bent could be a big scoring striker again, and with Liverpool’s wingers, plus Suarez playing in the hole behind him, Anfield could be the ideal solution.
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This article was first posted on December 6, 2012