BHAFC (@OfficialBHAFC) November 26, 2014
While the idea of Darren Bent turning out in the Championship was once unthinkable, after a torrid few seasons at Aston Villa, that’s where the out-of-favour striker now finds himself.
Villa have allowed the 30-year-old front man to join Sami Hyypia’s Brighton & Hove Albion on a month-long loan, where he could feature in up to six games before his scheduled return on December 29.
The Seagulls sit 20th in the second-tier at present, having taken 18 points from 18 games, with their current squad already boasting two Claret and Blue loanees in Gary Gardner and Joe Bennett.
Bent, 30, is in the final season of his contract at Villa Park, and has continued to find first-team opportunities sparse under manager Paul Lambert.
The former England international spent last season on loan at Fulham, where he scored just six times in 30 games, and is still to start a Premier League match this term, making seven substitute appearances for a total of 83 minutes.
Arriving from Sunderland in the winter of 2011 for a club-record fee of £18 million, he managed to net nine goals over the second-half of the 2010-11 campaign under Gerard Houllier to help steer the club clear of relegation, but has since failed to deliver the same production.
With a record of 15 goals in 69 league games since the start of the 2011-12 campaign, his form has been in stark contrast to that which once made him one of the top-flight’s most coveted marksman.
With few Villa fans expecting much from him at this stage, but the club still struggling for goals, here’s how the news was received.
Take a look at Bent's positioning when Weimann missed his shot on Monday night. He saved us once, and I'm grateful for that, but now? #avfc— AdamKeeble (@keebo00) November 26, 2014
Bent to Brighton on loan. Looked ATROCIOUSLY slow and unfit in cameo vs. Southampton. No burst, no legs, nothing. Needs the games. #AVFC— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) November 26, 2014
Can't believe the headloss over Darren Bent, he's scored 6 league goals in 2 and a half years, lets play him over Benteke! Sit down #avfc— Jamie Trigger (@_JT29) November 26, 2014
Moaning re: Bent loan. We don't have the players to play to his strengths at the moment, surplus for me, even with struggles up front. #avfc— Matt Ashmore (@MattAshmore2) November 26, 2014
Don't agree with Bent's move away but he needs game time to get sharper so hopefully will benefit him and us! #avfc— RF (@ReganFrancis) November 26, 2014
Hoping that the loaning out of Bent is a signal that Robinson will be used instead #avfc— (-_-)✌ (@Pajosmashup) November 26, 2014
Darren Bent has been next to useless since he's lost his legs. #avfc— Tom McMahon (@TomMc_Sports) November 26, 2014
Why have we sent bent out on loan?! Why not make use of him! We have scored two goals in 8 games!! #AVFC— James Phillips (@phillips_j81) November 26, 2014
Bent to Brighton. May as well. No attempt to properly integrate him into the #avfc team this season. Robinson takes his place in squad?— Kevin Hughes (@KevHughesie) November 26, 2014
Remember when Lambert made Darren Bent captain ? Then put him in the Bomb Squad, then brought him back, then sent him out on loan #AVFC— Mark Hodson (@Hodsonm2) November 26, 2014
Bent only ever failed because we failed to find another creative player to play in the "number 10 role" #avfc— Chicharito (@AaronPeaPea) November 26, 2014
Feel sorry for Darren Bent n his fall from grace. He shuda forced a move away from #avfc the second mcleish took over.— Peter Luckman (@PeterLuckman) November 26, 2014
Villa cannot score - yet let proven scorer Darren Bent go out on loan to Brighton?! The madness of football eh? #avfc— Lee Schofield (@LeeSchofield13) November 26, 2014