Darren Bent could certainly find himself leaving Villa Park in January with a number of clubs happy to have a player with his goal scoring record on their books, but is Paul Lambert right to be leaving him out of an Aston Villa side currently in a relegation battle?
Lambert once a winner of the European Cup in his time playing with Borussia Dortmund has come under a lot of scrutiny over the decision to drop Darren Bent, however, this decision seems to be paying off with summer signing Christian Benteke making the headlines with excellent all round performances.
In his time at Norwich Paul Lambert built a side which were difficult to break down and grinded out results with hard work and determination. I was surprised to see Lambert leave the Canaries in the summer and with Aston Villa selling a number of top class players in recent years there is a big job to do at Aston Villa and Paul Lambert is improving the side week in week out.
In the modern game you can buy all the superstars that you want but that can’t guarantee they will do the job needed. It’s difficult to fault the job that Lambert is doing at Aston Villa even if that does mean dropping Darren Bent. He has made some excellent signings this season with Ashley Westwood being the stand out signing in midfield.
Last season Westwood was playing League Two football with Crewe Alexandra however now he is the main man in the Aston Villa midfield and has excelled in recent weeks. Westwood epitomises the modern day midfielder. He is comfortable in possession, good defensive work, has a great passing range and also great vision.
In the England squad in recent years England have lacked a midfielder like Westwood and I would certainly not be surprised to see the 22 year old in Roy Hodgson’s squad in the future.
I agree with the omission of Darren Bent at Aston Villa from Paul Lambert. I can’t remember when I last saw Darren Bent in fine goal scoring form and has also failed to make the last two major England squads for 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012. Over the last months the front three of Weimann, Agbonlahor and Benteke have gained a great understanding in the final third of the pitch which is starting to pay dividends for Villa.
The Belgium striker has adapted really well to Premier League football in his first season and his overall contribution to the side is part of the reason why Darren Bent is in the side.
Bent is a finisher, you can give him the ball in the 18 yard box and there is 90% chance he would score where as Benteke gets more involved with the squad on the pitch.
Against Manchester United Benteke was fantastic and Aston Villa were lucky not to come away from the game with a least a point. Benteke ran Chris Smalling ragged throughout the whole game and was also excellent against Arsenal in the 0-0 draw and scored the late goal which gained his side a massive three points against Reading.
What happens in January? No-one can tell the future, but it does seem like Darren Bent could be on the way out of Villa Park however Villa won’t be short on takers for the England striker. Lambert finds bargains and top class players in every league in England which some top managers can’t do.
Selling Bent for about £10 – £15 million could benefit Lambert and Villa’s relegation battle only if the money was used to sign other players in January.
Written by Iain Fordyce
Follow him on Twitter @IainFordyce17
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