Could Darren Bent end up staying at Aston Villa?

If Aston Villa eventually sell Christian Benteke, it could tempt Paul Lambert into bring Darren Bent in from the shadows.

Bent is being strongly linked with a move to Newcastle United but Lambert is not a naïve manager and should be unwilling to let that move go through until the future of Benteke has been clarified.

Should the Belgian leave, it’s going to create a huge hole in the attack of Aston Villa’s team which is not going to be at all easy to replace.

Nicklas Helenius has been signed and has so far done a superb job in pre-season training and even scored on his debut in a pre-season friendly, but he does not have the experience to make him a concrete proposition in the face of not having Benteke available.

Lambert doesn’t seem to have any sort of personal issue with Bent, the only reason he made just eight Premier League starts and eight sub appearances last season was to do with Benteke’s success.

It would be much more difficult for Lambert to do a u-turn on using Bent if the pair hated each other but that’s not the case, far from it, it’s just the way the season panned out.

Where Bent has an edge over Helenius and forms a much stronger option for the club is his experience in Premier League seasons.

He is capable of reproducing the sort of form he showed in the 2009/2010 Premier League season when he scored 24 goals in 38 games for Sunderland, which went a long way to persuading Aston Villa to buy him in the following campaign.

He’s also scored solid levels of goals before that season and has a reasonable strike rate in the two seasons following it, leading up to last season which was clearly one of the lowest points in his career.

He’s at a good age, just 29-years-old, and all he seems to want is to just be given the chance to lead the frontline and simply play football.

That age gives him a maturity and that’s very important considering the average age of the current Villa squad is substantially lower.

It makes him a leader and it makes him approachable and those are two very valuable traits that £25 million generated from a Benteke sale would not be very easy to find with the new season getting closer and closer.

His discipline is remarkable; 2009/2010 was the last season he was booked more than once over the course of a Premier League season, so in terms of setting the example to a younger Aston Villa team, there are few better.

It just seems pointless for the club to get rid of him before the Benteke situation has played out because if the Belgian leaves, Bent is more than capable of coming back in and scoring some very important goals for the club.

What do you think? Should Lambert get ready to give Bent another chance?

image: © wonker

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