Darren Bent: Should he sign for Fulham or Newcastle?

The attacker is wanted by both of the Premier League clubs, but where is he likely to be more successful?

Darren Bent’s future looks like being decided in the next week, with the player’s agent said to be in talks with both Fulham and Newcastle over a potential transfer. After suffering from prolonged injuries last season and having to play second fiddle to Christian Benteke at Aston Villa, the next move is a critical one for Bent as he looks to get his career back on track.

Martin Jol wants Bent to join the Cottagers as a strike partner for Dimitar Berbatov, while the St James’ Park side are keen to bolster their options in attack after the sale of Demba Ba in January.

The latest development in the saga has seen Newcastle director of football Joe Kinnear reveal that the Geordies are closing in on an agreement to sign Bent.

"We were with Darren's agent for two or three hours; we thrashed out a deal. We are still in negotiations with Aston Villa so there is a really strong possibility there.

"Again I hear the latest is that somebody else has all of a sudden shown interest in the player. So we have competition from various clubs around the country. But I am not letting go. These are players that me and Alan (Pardew) have spoken about. These are players that we've all agreed at the club are the type of player we want to bring to Newcastle."

Kinnear also revealed that the North East club were also in advanced talks with QPR over the potential to sign Loic Remy, with a deal even being sown up on Monday or Tuesday. With Lyon also confirming that they have agreed a fee to sell Bafetimbi Gomis to the Magpies, the club’s problems with a lack of options in attack seem likely to end very soon.

For Bent, he must look at Newcastle as a chance to move to a club capable of helping him to get back on track, with a fanbase that would love him if he started to get on the scoresheet regularly.

However, given that there is potential for Bent to have to compete for a starting berth with Gomis, Remy and Papiss Cisse, his chances of increasing his amount of regular first-team football at Newcastle do not look good. Cisse is the main man at the club, while both France internationals are players of quality, who will not be happy spending prolonged periods on the bench.

This is why it makes more sense for Bent to choose a switch to Fulham if given a choice. He would be much more likely to play at the London club, has former boss Jol there to work with again and the guile and creativity of Dimitar Berbatov to play alongside.

Newcastle would also be wise to assess whether they really need Bent. If they were to sign all three of the new forwards that they are in talks with, they would have four strikers with speed, a physical approach and an aerial threat. They would also have four strikers that were relatively similar in the way they play the game.

For Bent, although he would be confident in his abilities of being first-choice at Newcastle, a move to St James could see him in a situation very similar to the one that he finds himself in currently at Aston Villa.

image: © wonker

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