Andy Carroll must avoid becoming the next Darren Bent

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has become the nomad of the Premier League and, despite his undisputed talent; he has failed to cement his status for club and country.

At 29-years of age Darren Bent is now looking to leave Aston Villa in search of pastures new after having fallen down the pecking order at Villa Park earlier in the season. Bent has made just 15 Premier League appearances for Villa this term scoring two goals and making one assist – he has played a full 90 minutes on just 5 occasions in the league this term.

It must be notes he has suffered a couple of injuries but there is no doubt the form of Christian Benteke is what has kept him out of Paul Lambert’s side this term.

As his age, he is now entering the twilight years of a striker’s career and, looking back on the last decade, Bent might feel he could have achieved more given his talent.

At 21-years-old Bent had the world (well, almost) at his feet – he transferred from Ipswich Town to Charlton where he scored a brace on his debut in the Premier League. Two years later he joined Tottenham for a club record fee of £16.5 million in the summer of 2007 after gaining his senior England debut in 2006 – it seemed his future was very bright indeed.

However, his spell at Spurs was inconsistent and he failed to really establish himself as their first-choice up front and genuinely justify his hefty price-tag. He was eventually sold to Sunderland in 2011 for £16.5 million against (after additional payments) where he looked to make a fresh start and re-assert himself as a contender for the England squad.

However, a similar story unfolded in the North East where, despite a good first season, he tailed off in the second and was sold on again to current club Aston Villa where he has, once again, failed to shine.

Two years ago Bent was a regular with England – he was getting called up and making it on as a substitute – but his chances of making it on the flight to Brazil next year are growing slimmer and slimmer by the day.

Darren Bent’s career trajectory should serve as a warning to Andy Carroll who, at 24-years of age, still has ample time to turn it around. Carroll made his big move to Liverpool in 2011 for £35 million and failed to justify his price-tag after a poor first term with the Reds.

He has since been loaned out to West Ham where his form has picked up in recent weeks but it’s still unlikely to be enough to convince England boss Roy Hodgson he deserves a call-up. Around the time he left Newcastle, Carroll was being hailed as the answer to England’s centre-forward problems and he was hopeful of becoming the regular partner to frontman Wayne Rooney.

Carroll will likely be sold this summer, probably to West Ham if they can haggle on the price, but he needs to stick with them and become a success to ensure he doesn’t become the Premier League’s next nomadic English striker.

image: © andrew_j_w

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