Darren Bent - Does he just not like competing for places?

Darren Bent

The England striker looks likely to be on the move again this time from Aston Villa in January as feud with Paul Lambert continues. With similar exits at Spurs and Sunderland behind him, does Bent simply not like competing for places at a club?

Although Darren Bent didn't make the England squad this international break, there was one Villa striker who has found the net for his country.

Christian Benteke got Belgium's first in their impressive 3-0 away win in Serbia. Benteke is the man who has edged Bent out of the Aston Villa starting line up, and with the England striker also losing the captaincy in recent weeks, it seem increasingly likely he will depart the club in January.

Liverpool and QPR are both reported as interested in the 28 year old. Despite moving clubs quite regularly in recent years, Bent has been able to score plenty of goals wherever he plays and would be an asset to either side. However it does seem that problems arise whenever he loses his status as the number one striker at a club. At Spurs he was always competing for places with the likes of Keane, Defoe and Berbatov, and never really settled. At Sunderland he enjoyed a great first season, but then looked to leave when Asamoah Gyan and Frazier Campbell pushed him for places. This may be a harsh summary of Bent's recent career, but again he looks set to leave Villa now Benteke has arrived and provided him with a real challenge for a starting place.

Bent may feel he needs to be starting to break back into the England squad, but he is a quality player and a little fight for places shouldn't unsettle him. Benteke is a great prospect, but you feel that Bent has the edge in terms of raw finishing ability and. with his Premiership experience, the England man would surely get plenty of starts if he kept his head down at Villa.

A move to Liverpool would clearly be an attractive option for Bent, and Rodgers' side are in desperate need of a striker with Borini picking up a long term injury on international duty. QPR may also be looking to beef up his scoring options, with only Zamora looking a serious threat for them so far this season. You can see either move happening in January if the clubs are prepared what would likely be a sizeable fee. But with each move he makes, it becomes less likely Bent will ever settle down in the Premiership. He has had some bad luck in his career, and was perhaps unfairly treated at Spurs, but his seeming disinterest in fighting for his place reflects poorly on a player of his calibre.

Clearly this is still just speculation at this stage, and perhaps Bent is not looking to move. Hopefully he will stay and convince Lambert of his merits at Villa. He may find that prevailing in a fight for places at his club side is the best route back for England, as Jermain Defoe did recently.

image: © wonker

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