Player #836

Appearances:

73

Starts:

53

Goals:

26

Seasons:

5

Darren Bent
Darren Bent

Villa News & Record

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Darren Bent
Darren Bent

Villa News & Record

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Darren Bent

Position

Forward

From

2010-11

To

2014-15

IMAGE CREDIT

Darren Bent

Seasons Quick-View

Seasons

Age*

26
27
28
29
30

Division

PL
PL
PL
PL
PL

Appearances

73
15
27
23
0
8

Starts

53
15
25
12
0
1

Substitute

20
0
2
11
0
7

Unused

11
0
0
7
0
4

Goals

26
9
11
6
0
0

*Age on opening day of the season

FAC: FA Cup; FL: Football League; D1: Division 1; D2: Division 2; D3: Division 3; PL: Premier League; CH: Championship

FULL SEASON BREAKDOWN

Darren Ashley Bent

Birth Date

Monday, 6 February 1984

Birth Place

Tooting, London

Birth Country

England

Villa Youth

n/a

From

Transfer in

Sunderland

From

For

£19,350,000

On

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Previous Clubs

2001-05 Ipswich Town |
2005-07 Charlton Athletic, £4.05m |
2007-09 Tottenham Hotspur, £22.28m |
2009-11 Sunderland, £10.62m |

Loans Out

2013-14 Fulham, 16 Aug 2013 to 31 May 2014, 24 (3) |
2014 Brighton & Hove Albion, 26 Nov 2014 to 30 Dec 2014, 5 (2) |
2015 Derby County, 3 Jan 2015 to 4 May 2015, 15 (10) |

Transfer Out

To

Derby County

For

Free

On

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Subsequent Clubs

2015-18 Derby County, Free |
2018 Burton Albion (L) |

Darren Bent
Darren Bent

Villa News & Record

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Darren Bent
Darren Bent

Villa News & Record

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1/1

Villa Career

Seasons Active, Fee, Starts (Sub) | Goals |

2011-15 Aston Villa, £19.35m, 53 (20) | 26 |

STARTS

SUBS

GOALS

Played Under

Gérard Houllier |
Alex McLeish |
Paul Lambert |

First Squad Appearance

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Debut Appearance

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Manchester City (h), Premier League

DEBUT

First Goal

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Final Appearance

Monday, 24 November 2014

Southampton (h), Premier League

FINAL

Final Squad Appearance

Monday, 24 November 2014

Honours

Played for the Villa

Height

(5 ft 11 in) 1.8 m

Foot

Right

International Team

England

Darren Bent

Player #836 for Aston Villa, Darren Ashley Bent played as a centre forward for the club between 2010-11 and 2014-15 making 73 appearances and scoring 26 goals.

Bent was born in Tooting, London on 6 February 1984 and was signed by Gérard Houllier for a club record fee of £19,350,000 from relegation rivals Sunderland on 18 January 2011 in a desperate bid to avoid the drop in his torrid single season in charge of Villa - a season which he neither started nor finished.

If that was to prove a bizarre introduction to the club for Bent, subsequent seasons escalated the wilful stupidity of the club to new heights - and placed Bent as the poster boy for the impact of Villa’s mismanagement during the 2010s.

Before that however Bent made his debut appearance for Villa on Saturday, 22 January 2011 aged 26 scoring the winner against Manchester City in a 1-0 victory.

Bent went on to score 9 goals in 15 appearances all in the league as Villa successfully beat the drop despite the off-field distraction of the ailing Houllier being replaced by Gary McAllister.

2011-12 saw Alex McLeish installed as Villa boss and the much maligned manager attempted to construct a squad capable of providing the supply to the talented penalty box goalscorer but limited footballer Bent.

Injuries to key components however such as Charles N’Zogbia and an overtly negative approach to football meant Bent and Villa could not truly capitalise on the potential link up and another haul of 9 league goals was the sum total of 27 appearances.

Another managerial change and a descent into madness then followed. Indeed the story of Darren Bent encapsulates one of the most incredibly stupid episodes in Villa’s history.

The madness had taken hold of Villa under Gérard Houllier as his wilful ostracism of Stephen Warnock robbed the team of an effective squad player. However not even Houllier could have foreseen that his actions set the precedent for the treatment of the player he broke Villa’s transfer record to bring to the club.

Villa were a mess of disillusionment and discontent under Houllier, almost entirely of his own making and so the purchase of the goalscorer Bent from relegation rivals Sunderland had brought three clear benefits:

It robbed a rival of their best player.

It brought a goalscorer to the club, and

It papered over the cracks - or rather chasms - within the playing squad.

Bent did what was expected and scored the goals that kept Villa up.

Alex McLeish just about managed the same.

But Paul Lambert took the policy of cutting one’s nose off to spite one’s face to new levels of stupidity.

As with Houllier and Warnock two season earlier, Lambert saw fit to ensure that Villa were paying a player - who could materially improve his woeful side - to sit out of first team consideration.

For what reason few are sure.

Such was the illogical treatment of Bent that a player that had cost Villa over £19m was given away for free as Villa inflicted an unnecessary devaluation on themselves on and off the pitch.

For all his incoherent protestations it was clear to all that Lambert - from a very early point - had a problem with Bent.

Stripping the record signing of the captaincy then stripping him of his place, followed by exclusion from training and then serial loans not only robbed Villa of goalscoring talent but also of precious funds.

The madness however had only just started as although Bent was Lambert’s first victim, he certainly wasn’t his last.

In sum Bent under Lambert made grim reading

Inherited Villa’s record signing
23 appearances and 6 goals in 2012-13
No appearances and no goals in 2013-14
1 start and 7 substitute appearances and no goals in 2014-15
Leaves on a free

By the time Lambert’s long overdue departure had arrived, Bent was once again out on loan and unable to be recalled leaving Villa with a gaping hole in their attacking armoury that new boss Tim Sherwood filled with sub-standard foreign imports leading directly and inexorably to Villa’s most wretched League season and first relegation in 28 years.

Bent had made his final appearance for Villa on Monday, 24 November 2014 aged 30 before being put out of his misery and moving on to Derby County in July 2015 on a free transfer aged 31.

Lambert went on to be directly or indirectly involved in the relegation of all but one of the clubs he subsequently managed.