Should Leeds United have done all they could to bring the striker to Elland Road before Derby County secured his signing?
Shortly after Darren Bent’s release from Aston Villa this week, Derby County announced they had done a deal to bring the former England international to Pride Park.
The free transfer signing of a 31-year-old with a club career record of 191 goals is not to be sniffed at, but should another Championship side have done more to bring Bent in while they had the chance?
Leeds United have made a lot of headlines in recent weeks, following the arrival of Uwe Rosler as their new manager and comments from their owner (published in the Mirror) suggesting he has Premier League promotion in his sights.
But to do that you need goal-scorers – among other things – and Bent is one of the best in the business even if his time at Villa Park did not go according to plan.
The fact that Bent was on loan at Derby last season meant the Rams always had an advantage once his exit from the Villans was confirmed. But the Leeds hierarchy are likely to have known that a regular goal-scorer was about to come on the market and they would have been wise to do more in an attempt to beat their Championship rivals to the punch.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and the simple fact is Derby got their man, but Bent would have been a wonderful addition to Leeds’ squad.
Rosler has some of the best young talent in the second tier in the form of Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook, Charlie Taylor and Sam Byram, and they are the kind of players who could have supplied Bent with the chances to become an instant hero for the Whites.
With 12 goals in just 17 matches for Derby last season, Bent proved he could take the Championship by storm once more, and when you consider Steve Morison’s record for Leeds and Mirco Antenucci and Souleymane Doukara’s regular omissions from the starting line-up, Bent could have been the catalyst the club needed to make Cellino’s dreams come true.