Bent thinks the eight-figure Crystal Palace recruit would be a better fit for Aston Villa.

The former Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has urged his old club to swerve Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah in favour of Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke.

Aston Villa are currently without all of their recognised centre-forwards, sparking talk of Villa Park moves for both Nketiah and Benteke – who also used to play for the Villans – this window.

And the pair could plausibly depart their sides before the transfer deadline, with Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) and Cenk Tosun, Jordan Ayew and Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace) for company.

But when asked about Nketiah’s future specifically, Bent told Talksport earlier (Monday): “I think Aston Villa, they don’t need that right now. That is a risk. They need someone who can go in there and score goals now.

“(There is speculation) about Benteke and I think that, for me, is the perfect one to go for. I know he’s had a bit of a tough time at Crystal Palace. But I think the Aston Villa fans will get the best out of him, because they absolutely idolised him – he was the best thing ever when he was there.

“I think if he goes there and he feels that love again, he can start scoring.

“As far as Eddie Nketiah goes, I’d go somewhere like Bristol (City) or Sheffield Wednesday, a good Championship club that have aspirations of getting promoted. Not going to someone like Aston Villa or Norwich that are desperate for wins.”

Nketiah will decide his next loan Aston Villclub within the next 48 hours, according to The Daily Mail, with Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest each in pursuit alongside Aston Villa. 

Benteke’s exit is seemingly less imminent, however, and reports that the Championship trio are also in for Wickham  could complicate matters even further.

Aston Villa fans – which of the Arsenal or Crystal Palace strikers would you rather sign?

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