For whatever reason Darren Bent, one of the most prolific English strikers in the recent history of the Premier League, has never been favoured by Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert.
Lambert hauled him off at half-time during the club’s 2-1 defeat at home to Newcastle United and the British press is rife with speculation that Stoke will try and sign him either today or tomorrow.
Bent just doesn’t figure at Villa while Lambert is in charge regardless of his Premier League and international experience and he could jump at the chance to get away from his nightmare in the Midlands.
The issue Stoke face is that they will have to free up squad space and cash if they are going to pull off a move for Bent.
Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam are two high profile players who have been linked with a move away from Stoke and if deals for those players can be done quickly, a transfer for Bent could be on the cards.
Kenwyne Jones has also been linked with a move away from Stoke with Sunderland and Swansea City thought to be interested in him.
The reason Stoke need to get rid of those players before trying to sign Bent is because of Bent’s current contract at Villa and the personal terms he asks for could be a sticking point.
Tony Pulis has never been the sort of manager to cave in to a player’s unrealistic wage demands and if Bent wants out, he may have to accept a more socialist wage deal.
They also need to get those players out because Bent would carry a fee from Aston Villa but considering the way he’s been treated there, any fee is unlikely to be unrealistically high.
If Bent wants out of Aston Villa then all of the tools are in place for it to happen. It’s unlikely he’ll want to spend another half a season as an inconsistent start of matches, warming the bench and at times, simply not being selected in the squad at all.
He could do very well at Stoke who are geared towards getting the ball into the box quickly. Bent thrives on knock downs, half chances and a decent battle against a defender so it could be the best move he ever makes.
Do you think Stoke can pull it off?
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