Darren Bent has lifted the lid on how close he came to joining West Ham after he left Charlton Athletic while speaking on the All to Play For podcast.
Bent was one of the most deadly strikers in the country around that time, netting 31 league goals in his final two seasons at Charlton, and West Ham could certainly have done with a striker of that quality around that period.
Bent actually went as far as having a medical with West Ham, but one thing Eggert Magnusson said to him really put him off the idea of joining the Hammers.
“When I went and I left Charlton I had a medical at West Ham I was at the stadium at Upton Park when Curbishley was there, but the little bald fella, the owner, who was the little bald fella? He put me off. That’s why I never signed,” Bent said.
Bent was reminded by Joe Cole that the man he’s talking about was Magnusson, before continuing with his story.
“I came back from Miami early, because Curbishley was like ‘let’s get it done’ so I flew back early, so I was knackered, and he said to me, ‘you either sign the contract now, or don’t bother coming back.’ I said ‘alright’.”
It’s interesting to hear how one 11-word sentence can completely derail a transfer.
Magnusson made plenty of mistakes during his time at West Ham, but this may have been his biggest.
Bent could have been a rousing success at West Ham, after all, this is a striker who would eventually hit 106 goals in the Premier League, but he let him slip through his fingers.
Magnusson’s way of doing business seemed very straightforward and unforgiving, and when you’re dealing with footballers and their agents, that isn’t always the best was of approaching these situations.
West Ham should be regretting not signing Bent at the peak of his powers.