With Darren Bent’s on-off move to Fulham yet to be completed, Premier League new boys Crystal Palace are said to be interested in taking the 29 year-old Villa striker to Selhurst Park in a season-long loan.
The former England forward appears to be running out of suitors as teams struggle to justify matching the 6 million pound price tag Villa have placed on him, with the Cottagers having had three bids turned down and could join Newcastle in withdrawing their interest as a fourth bid seems unlikely.
The Eagles are keen on bringing him in, making another addition in the strike department having already signed Dwight Gale from Peterborough along with veteran striker Kevin Philipps re-signed.
With Bent’s stock already at its lowest for some time, Randy Lerner’s determination to recoup a mere portion of the 18 million pounds they invested in the striker seems to be wishful thinking at best. Lerner would be reluctant to allow a loan deal, but it could be the only way for Bent’s stock to rise once again by recapturing form and proving he is worth the transfer fee.
This is a player whose transfer to Villa came at a time where they were looking at relegation as a serious threat. Whose exploits arguably kept them in the Premier League after seasons of lacking a classic number 9 striker who had a penchant for finding the back of the net.
Sadly, feats of past seasons are long forgotten and the general view is that a player is only as good as their last game, or from a broader perspective, their last season. Despite having found the back of the net in the final game of the season against Wigan, which was likely his final game for the club, Bent’s season was one to forget. Two months on from the seasons end it is a mere distant memory.
The two new additions to Palace’s strike department couldn’t be more opposite, with Philipps at the twilight of his career and Gayle embarking on a promising journey.
Despite having Glenn Murray, presently injured, and Stephen Dobbie within the ranks, Palace wouldn’t struggle to find a use for Bent as Villa did last season and would be the perfect example for a budding Gayle to learn from.
Palace have also been linked with Arsenal flop Marouane Chamakh, in a move which would all but spell an end to their interest in Bent. Who would be better for Palace, surely the Englishman? Will Villa budge on the fee they are demanding for Bent?
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