Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert told the press on Monday that striker Darren Bent simply wasn't good enough to play for the club, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
With loan spells at Fulham, Brighton and now Derby County, it's clear that Bent has no future at Villa Park, but Lambert says it wasn't because of a personal disagreement - it was simply because the ex-Tottenham man wasn't good enough.
"I think Darren has got to be honest with himself. If you ask anyone here, or any of his team-mates, they’d tell you it’s nothing personal," said Lambert. "I never stood in his way to go to any other club. The only clubs that came in for him were Championship clubs - not one Premier League club. That says a lot, so it was never personal.
"He went to Brighton for a month and never wanted to renew it. Went to Derby and never started a game. At Fulham, he never played a lot of games towards the tail end. Was it personal with me when he was at Fulham? It is what it is, but it was never personal," the Scot added.
Bent has generally scored goals wherever he's been, with 162 goals over spells with Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic, Tottenham and Sunderland, but with 25 goals in 72 games for the club, it's interesting that Lambert hasn't turned to Bent this season given that Villa are the lowest goalscorers in the Premier League with just 11 goals in 22 games.
Bent must now focus on helping Derby County in their push for promotion, but he's still stuck behind Chris Martin in the pecking order under Steve McClaren - so maybe, just maybe, Lambert is right after all.