Darren Bent open to Brighton stay but should top-tier clubs be keen?

Darren Bent is hoping Aston Villa agree to extend his loan spell at Brighton & Hove Albion, but should Premier League strugglers be looking his way?

Darren Bent is far from over the hill at the age of 30.

He is a proven Premier League goalscorer and a man with 13 senior England caps to his name.

Struggles at Aston Villa have damaged his confidence and limited his game time, but he is still capable of doing a job at the highest level.

Critics will point to a loan spell at Fulham last season as an argument against his value, but he was denied regular starts at Craven Cottage.

Bent has been forced to drop down in the Championship in an effort to get the minutes he craves, and has responded with two goals for Brighton & Hove Albion during a productive loan spell.

He told the Seagulls official website: “I’ve enjoyed myself here, everyone at the club and the fans have all been fantastic since I’ve arrived. If it is case of me staying here or going back to Villa and be on the bench, then I’d rather stay.

“I don’t know any footballers that enjoy sitting on the bench and come on for two minutes here and there. For me, especially at my age, now it is all about playing games week-in week-out.

“Brighton has been fantastic for me and if I get to stay and play more games, then I will be happy.

“I’ve got to thank Sami Hyypia for coming to get me, and giving me the opportunity to play. With every game I feel I’m getting sharper, I feel I’m getting better, and I feel I’m getting back to my old self."

  TeamGoalsTotal Scoring AttOntarget Scoring AttAppearancesMins Played
Darren Bent Brighton 2 11 5 4 355

Brighton will be delighted to hear that Bent wants to stay on but if he is getting back to his ‘old self’, then should he be setting his sights higher than the second tier?

Surely the likes of Burnley, West Bromwich Albion or Leicester City could do with an injection of firepower.

It could even be argued that Villa should draft the experienced frontman back into their plans, with Paul Lambert’s side the lowest scorers in the top-flight.

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