Date: 14th July 2009 at 8:41am
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As an Aston Villa fan there are three things that you can be sure of each summer:-

1. An agonising wait for signings to arrive
2. Plenty of debate about the ability of the manager
3. Links to Peter Crouch, Robbie Keane and Darren Bent in the papers

And this summer has been no different; there hasn’t been any signings as yet despite our best two players, Laursen and Barry leaving the club through injury and arguably greed respectively. As well as that there has been debate between Villa fans as to whether or not O’Neill is this or that. And finally, we have (like every other transfer window) been linked to Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane. As yet I am not sure the club has been linked to Darren Bent. I did see a snippet in a paper this morning but I don`t believe there has been an article as yet, however, he like many Spurs players has been mentioned as part of fantasy swap deals between Villa and Spurs for John Carew and Ashley Young.

This link pops up every window as I say, but at the moment we have 4 senior strikers – Carew, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Emile Heskey and Marlon Harewood, I don’t think it would be wrong to assume that Harewood will probably have left by the time the season starts and many believe Delfouneso may well be sent out on loan. So with this in mind we would probably enter the season with just three forwards although James Milner and Ashley Young could provide cover. I think Aston Villa need to be thinking about bringing in a fourth striker as both Heskey and Carew are known to be a tad injury prone, while Agbonlahor’s form is unpredictable from one game to the next.

Darren Bent is the answer. Bent, 25 has four caps for England and a career record of 97 league goals in 248 games. Just to put that into some sort of perspective, Dwight Yorke scored 73 league goals in 232 games for us. Bent had been having a good start to the season for Spurs last year before Harry Redknapp arrived and brought Keane and Defoe back to the club. Bent would provide competition for Agbonlahor, something I feel is needed if Gabby is going to progress into the player we all hope he can. The competition for places would be a kick up the backside, much like the arrivals of Milner and Sidwell were for Petrov last season, the midfield was bolstered and Petrov’s place was under threat and suddenly after two turbulent years, Petrov suddenly became the player O’Neill obviously thought he was capable of being.

Bent would fit O’Neill’s criteria too, he is young and English, plus with the world cup fast approaching Bent would be keen to play more regularly and show Fabio Capello what he is capable of. Sure Bent would probably cost a lot of money but he is a goalscorer pure and simple, this is what Aston Villa need if they want to compete in Europe and domestically. Roque Santa Cruz and Michael Owen have both moved to Manchester and I think Bent is the best available option now.

Mr. O’Neill I think its time for you to get Bent!!