Once regarded as the answer to David Beckham's international retirement, the football career of David Bentley hasn't exactly gone to plan. And since he left Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, he still hasn't found a club.
With teams now looking for the smartest way to strengthen their sides in order to reach their targets, he should be banging on the door of potential suitors and offering his services.
We take a look at five possible clubs that should open the door to the Englishman that scored the first ever goal at the new Wembley in 2007.
1) Derby County
The obvious choice as Derby's current manager Steve McClaren was the man who touted the winger as the 'new David Beckham' in the first place. It wouldn't be surprising to see the former England manager go in for one of his former favourites, but the deal would have to suit all parties as Derby County are renowned for keeping a tight grip on the purse strings for transfer funds, especially when it comes to contracts.
The Scottish champions could be a perfect platform for David Bentley to get his career back on track and get his name in the spotlight once again. With The Bhoys out of the Champions League this season, the pressure would be well and truly off the winger, allowing him to play with freedom and hopefully get back his creative spark.
3) Aston Villa
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has already indicated that he doesn't have a war chest to play with this month, and that could possibly encourage him to offer a short-term deal to the former Tottenham man. He would initially have to prove his fitness and that he still has Premier League quality, but it could be a task for him to relish. For a Premier League side however, David Bentley still offers an unnecessary risk but if the price is right, he could prove to become a very shrewd buy.
4) Queens Park Rangers
Another obvious destination could be Harry Redknapp's Queens Park Rangers after he tried to sign him last January. The former Tottenham manager changed his man after reportedly being told to pay up the full £50,000-a-week for the player. Despite that, recent reports suggest that Redknapp's main priority is securing another striker, and any potential deal for Bentley is likely to be overlooked until then.
5) Nottingham Forest
Another side desperately looking to improve their squad this January is Billy Davies's Nottingham Forest, and David Bentley could offer a realistic option. The emergence of exciting winger Jamie Paterson could perhaps put Davies off looking at him, but with his game plan heavily based on wing play then he may have a place for the former Spurs man in the squad, in order to rotate and keep everyone fresh.
David Bentley's return to English football is likely to depend on the player's fitness and wage demands. And after earning £50,000-a-week at Spurs for so long then the significant wage cut required to join these clubs may be a bitter pill to swallow. But, if the player is hungry to get back into the English game, then it's going to be a situation he needs to come to terms with.
Hopefully he will be able to prove that he isn't a finished footballer and show he still has something to offer.
image: © wonker