When I first heard this one, I thought someone is surely having a laugh here, £18M for Darren Bent – and to Aston Villa as well.
The same Aston Villa that wouldn’t give Martin O’Neill the money he wanted to spend in the summer after cashing in on James Milner. What has changed so much in 6 months?
Probably the threat of relegation, thats what. Randy Lerner was probably looking to be more prudent in the summer and looked at O’Neill’s record in the transfer market. Now with their current league position, the situation has changed at Villa Park and it looks like the emphasis is now Premier League survival at any cost, with prudence out the window.
O’Neill made some good signings in his time at Villa Park, but he also spent a lot of money on squad players who never really gave Villa good value for money. People like Steve Sidwell, Marlon Harewood, Curtis Davies, Nicky Shorey, etc.
As Gerald Houllier has shown recently – more by default with all the injuries – O’Neill could have given youth a bit more of a chance and not spent the amounts he did on keeping the bench warm, the players certainly look to have been there all along.
Is Darren Bent worth £18 million? I’d have to say no myself, despite his decent goals to games record I don’t see him as a great footballer. But if he keeps Villa up, obviously he would be worth every penny.
He could also be a good long term signing for Villa, they have lacked a goalscorer for a few years now and a 20-25 goals a season man will certainly do them no harm. On a slightly negative note, this shows that Lerner is backing Houllier and for all those Villa fans who want him out, it now looks like he will be there for the rest of the season at least.