Sunderland’s prolific striker, Darren Bent, who narrowly missed out on a World Cup place with England in 2010, has signed for fellow Barclays Premier League outfit, Aston Villa, for a fee of £18million – which could rise to £24million, depending upon the player hitting certain performance targets.
Bent was yesterday confirmed as a Villa signing, making him the highest ever transfer fee they have paid for a player.
Sunderland are currently sitting in sixth place in the Premier League – a position Villa have occupied in recent years, though the Midlands outfit find themselves in a tricky 17th place at present – which makes Bent’s decision to request the transfer appear a little strange. Steve Bruce, the Sunderland manager, said players, staff and fans of the club “have every right to feel massively let down”,
However, having purchased Bent for £10million from Tottenham in 2009, Bruce can be happy with a good return on investment for his deal: Bent produced 36 goals from 63 appearences foe the Black Cats, and has netted a profit of £8million in two years. With on-loan striker Danny Welbeck currently unavailable for selection, Bent’s move away does threaten to derail Sunderland’s current form, as only Gyan remains from a trio which was working well to produce goals for the Wearsiders.
Villa, on the other hand, will be delighted if Bent can bring some of his goals to their club, and help them push away from the relegation zone before the season is out.
When quizzed about his motivation to leave a top six club for one in the bottom four, Bent said “I believe Villa are in a false position, they have been sixth for the past three seasons.”
Whether or not his belief proves to be true may well depend on him retaining his excellent goalscoring record. We will know by the end of April.