Darren Bent can provide instant relief for Liverpool’s goal-scoring woes. The Aston Villa striker is a proven Premier League goal scorer, and a rumored move to LFC makes sense for Bent and both clubs.
The 27-year-old has played in the Premier League for Ipswich, Charlton, Tottenham, Sunderland and Villa, and has consistently scored at each stop. His 97 goals in 224 top-flight games put him in position to join the select group of 100-plus goal scorers in the near future.
A knock on Bent in the past has been that he lacks a complete, all-around game. Critics say he is too direct and doesn’t bring his teammates into the flow of the game. But one thing that has never been in doubt is his ability to put the ball in the back of the net.
Liverpool has had difficulty scoring goals in the 2011-12 season and adding a finisher of Bent’s caliber would provide an option worth testing. The Reds create chances in bunches, and having someone with Bent’s qualities should see the team convert a higher percentage of them, according to simple mathematics.
Liverpool has money to spend in January and Bent could cost as much as £15 million ($23.1 million). That fee wouldn’t necessarily hinder LFC’s future transfer dealings.
Aston Villa is a team in transition. First-year manager Alex McLeish is trying to build a team in his own image, but needs money to recruit his favorite players from previous stops at Birmingham and Rangers. Selling Bent, a player whose performances this season have not matched those of last season, would allow him to fund a needed rebuilding project.
Although McLeish claims he has no intention of selling Bent, he could be posturing that way in order to get the highest possible fee for a player whose long-term future at the club is in doubt.
Bent could see Liverpool as an ideal sporting challenge. At 27, he’s in the prime of his career. Helping take LFC back to its rightful place at or near the top of the Premier League would cement his legacy as one of the English game’s top players in recent years. It would also give him a chance to score goals in the UEFA Champions or Europa Leagues. That would make him an almost automatic inclusion for England squads (if healthy) for the 2012 European Championships and 2014 FIFA World Cup.
If the three parties can agree on a transfer fee and salary, there’s no reason why the move should not go through.