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Darren Bent
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Club as Player Tottenham Spurs
  Aston Villa

2019 05 24 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Frank Lampard has been warned off an unforgiving role at Chelsea] Frank has done a ­fantastic job, especially the way he’s kept them believing when it looked like they were going to fall short towards the end of the season. That’s a fine achievement for a first-time ­manager in his first year doing the job. I know there are Chelsea fans who would put him in charge at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, and I would agree that Frank is ­destined to manage at the top level. But you are talking about a ­different animal at Chelsea - the step up is massive. We’ve seen a lot of managers, who have been around a lot longer than Frank has, go there and fail. And we know it’s not a forgiving club, ­patience wears thin pretty quickly, and if you aren’t winning ­trophies within a year or 18 months, usually you’re out the door. I would like to think that whether or not Derby are promoted on ­Monday, another year is not going to do him any harm in the long run.

[He added, with Aston Villa seeking to make amends for a final defeat to Fulham 12 months ago] It would be so tough for Villa to cope with, reaching the ­play-off final two years running and losing them both. If Jack Grealish calls the tune, Villa have a great chance - but Derby have got Mason Mount, who can have the same effect on a game

2019 06 07 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Christian Eriksen will be able to leave Tottenham and join Real Madrid without getting ‘any stick’ from fans] No Spurs fan will look at Eriksen and give him any stick because he’s been loyal to them and given them great service. The fans will let him go with open arms. He’d be a big loss but he’d fit the mould for Real Madrid really well. I don’t know how much they are planning on spending because they’ve already spent £200m and they’d have to spend another £80-100m to get Eriksen. He kind of put it out there that he’d like to leave to go to Real Madrid or Barcelona, but if he has to stay he will because of the backlash from the fans. He’s 27 and he probably thinks that now is the right time to go.

It’s not going to be a foregone conclusion that he’ll leave Spurs, because I know how they operate, and if it doesn’t make sense for the football club then he won’t be going anywhere. It’s a catch-22. As a manager, you want to keep your best players at the football club but you’ve got to look ahead as well

[Bent also weighed in on the future of former Spurs team-mate Gareth Bale] I can see him coming back [to England] but where is the difficulty. You look at Spurs and he knows the club, they’re going in the right direction, a new stadium, brilliant manager, young team. He’ll go to where suits him best and he’ll have a number of options. When you look at the teams in the Premier League, it comes down to Tottenham and Manchester United

2019 07 16 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Jack Clarke is an old school winger] A lot of the modern day wingers now are shoot first, supply second and I hate that. As a centre forward, I can’t stand that! Whereas you look at when I was growing up, in my day wide men would create goals first for your centre forward and then if there’s an opportunity to shoot, then you go and get yourself goals. It’s completely changed around now though. For me, I do like him because he does look to create first and then get himself a goal

For me, he’s at the perfect club [in Tottenham] that are going to be patient with him first and foremost, he’s signed a long-term deal - it’s the exact same as when I was there, I signed five plus one - give him two years to develop, play at Leeds another season then slowly integrate him into the Spurs squad but as I said, what a move for him. I’d say he’s an old school winger with modern flair. He can go past people, good with either feet, quick, quite tricky on the ball, quite elusive and as I said, likes to supply first so I really like him

2019 08 13 Retrieve

[Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Darren Bent believes Everton’s new signing Alex Iwobi lacks the quality to succeed at Goodison Park] I’m an Arsenal fan and I’ve never been Iwobi’s biggest fan. My thing with people has always been quality on the ball. Whether it was his final cross or his shot on goal, it was always under-hit or there was never really any quality there. He’d do the hard stuff, go past someone, and you’d want him to make the right decision, but he never seemed to get it right. I wouldn’t say he’s better than Richarlison because he gives you goals, he’s got a bit more quality

2019 09 27 Retrieve

[Former Tottenham Hotspur forward Darren Bent has slammed Serge Aurier for his performances in Mauricio Pochettino’s team] No, personally, no. Defensively, he’s all over the place, positionally, he’s all over the place. People get in behind him, I don’t think he’s particularly great on the ball - yeah, he scored a great goal the other day which was chalked off but when you look at the right-backs that they’ve had. People aimed a lot of Trippier but you knew what you were getting from Trippier. Technically on the ball, he was very good, positionally he got himself into the right areas. Aurier, he’s powerful, but he’s often left wanting. He’ll break forward and leave that right side exposed, a lot of the time the right centre-half is one-v-one with the wide man. That’s something they definitely need to work on

2019 10 26 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Arsenal being in the mix for Jan Vertonghen would be no surprise] Jan Vertonghen, playing at the centre of the defence, are there too many more that are going to be better than him? If you’re going to take him on a free, Arsenal could do with him. If he’s on a free don’t be surprised if they’re in the mix for him as well. I think it’s a situation they [Spurs] need to address but at the same time I wouldn’t want to see these players walk away for nothing. It’s a difficult one, they’re down to a free, they’re obviously not going to sign new contracts so what do you do?

2019 11 08 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says he was upset after Sunderland acquired Asamoah Gyan in 2010] I remember being at Sunderland, scoring 25 goals, then the following season they bring in Asamoah Gyan and it just kind of unsettled me a little bit because I’m like ‘Well, things are going really well here, I’m doing really well, so why do you feel the need to sign someone else, who arguably in that World Cup was one of the best players?’. He was brilliant for Ghana and it kind of upset me a little bit. So I think in that situation you need to leave it as it is, let that play out, and if you are going to bring in players in other areas, be like squad-type players where if you do get injuries, they can come straight back in

2019 12 20 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Spurs ‘a step closer to winning a trophy’ under Mourinho & capable of a top four finish] There was probably a time where no one would’ve ever thought that Mourinho would in charge of Tottenham because the gulf between the two clubs was massive. Chelsea in the 00s were so dominant. It was a strange one [hiring Mourinho] but one that’s brilliant for the club and the Premier League. I don’t know if that makes Spurs ‘relevant’ again but Spurs know now that they’ve got someone in the dugout who’s a serial winner, who wins trophies. I think Spurs will feel they’re a step closer to winning a trophy

[When asked if Tottenham can secure a top-four finish] Yeah, why not? What’s helped them as well is that other teams around them haven’t been consistent. Manchester City, Liverpool and Leicester look like they’re going to be in the top four. Chelsea have lost four out of their last five. It’s possible for anyone to get fourth because no one’s putting any results together. At one stage, Spurs would have said that top four would have been impossible but all of a sudden they must be thinking that if they can put more results together, then they’re going to be right in there

I know Mourinho will say that playing his ex-team doesn’t really mean anything but I can say as an ex-player that whenever I was playing against an old team, you always wanted to put one over on them. Whether they let you go and you want to show them that they made the wrong decision or you decide to go because it’s the best thing for your career and you want to show that you’ve improved as a player. There’s a lot riding on it. If he’s going to say that this game doesn’t mean anything to him then I think he’s lying

2019 12 24 Retrieve

[Former Aston Villa striker Darren Bent says Jack Grealish will be looking at the situation regarding his future in January] Jack Grealish is their best player, I’m sure in January he’s going to be looking at the situation. If he’s got any aspirations of making that European squad next year, he needs to be playing in a team that’s doing well. Him playing in a team that’s fighting relegation is not doing him any favours. I do worry about Aston Villa from that perspective as well, so it’s going to be an interesting and awkward second half of the season for them

2019 12 31 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Jose Mourinho will take Tottenham into the January transfer market] He can only work with what he’s got. He’s managed to obviously turn Toby and get him to sign a new contract, so he likes him as a defender and believes that he can improve them at the back. But I think in January he’s going to have to dip into that transfer market and get someone in because at one stage I used to look at Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen and think defensively that partnership is one of the strongest in the Premier League.

Now, both of them have lost a little bit of legs you’d have to say, obviously age comes to everyone. Vertonghen’s had big injuries so maybe that’s playing a part as well. I think he will definitely dip into that transfer market and try and bring a defender in and maybe even a full-back. Listen, Spurs at the minute, going forward they’ve got no issues whatsoever.

They’ve got Son Heung-min when he comes back from suspension, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, these guys can make the difference. I think Ryan Sessegnon, the more he plays the better he’ll get. But defensively they can’t be having to score two, three goals to even get a point

2020 01 07 Retrieve

[Tottenham should be looking to sign in-form Southampton striker Danny Ings as cover for the injured Harry Kane, says Darren Bent] If Spurs were to go and get Danny Ings and he was to go and score five or six goals before Harry Kane gets back, I don’t think automatically Harry Kane walks back in the team. You are getting the best out of someone, you are winning games now and you have someone who can stick the ball in the back of the net. I know Harry Kane is important and is one of the world’s best, but he would just have to be patient. How could you change the team that is doing really well, winning games, pushing up the league to accommodate someone. But for me that’s the perfect fit and if Daniel Levy were to get Danny Ings, that would be a great signing.

2020 01 09 Retrieve

[Darren Bent has urged his former employers to move for Edinson Cavani as a possible replacement for the injured Harry Kane] Spurs now, in this window, need to go and sign a centre-forward, and not just one that can play back-up to Harry Kane when he gets back. They need one to come in now, that’s ready to go. We spoke earlier about Cavani - there’s your guy, go and get him. He’s getting on in age but he can still do a job

They need to worry about the here and now and sign someone who can score goals right now. You cannot worry about, ‘Okay, we can’t really upset the boat with Harry Kane when he comes back’. You’ve got no time to think about that. Harry Kane, once he gets fit, I’m sure he’ll get back into the side, but he might have to be patient. Right now they need to go and break the bank and bring somebody in. They might have to spend upwards of £60 million because these guys don’t grow on trees, you have to spend the money

2020 01 14 Retrieve

[Darren Bent beleives loan move to Aston Villa risky] I think Aston Villa, they don’t need that right now. That is a risk. They need someone who can go in there and score goals now. (There is speculation) about (Christian) Benteke and I think that, for me, is the perfect one to go for. I know he’s had a bit of a tough time at Crystal Palace. But I think the Aston Villa fans will get the best out of him, because they absolutely idolised him - he was the best thing ever when he was there. I think if he goes there and he feels that love again, he can start scoring. As far as Eddie Nketiah goes, I’d go somewhere like Bristol (City) or Sheffield Wednesday, a good Championship club that have aspirations of getting promoted. Not going to someone like Aston Villa or Norwich that are desperate for wins

2020 01 16 Retrieve

[Tottenham urged to sign Barcelona centre-back] If they can get Umtiti, wow. He’s big, strong, powerful and good on the ball, and he’s someone Mourinho can trust. He’s played in big games, won big competitions - obviously the World Cup which is a big one. If he’s been offered, that means he may not cost too much, so I’d snap their hand off

[Another position in which Mourinho is keen to bolster his options is at the opposite end of the pitch, with Harry Kane having pulled up with a hamstring issue that will see him sidelined until April at the very least] We expect him to be out until mid-April, end of April, May, next season. I don’t know

2020 03 17 Retrieve

[Manchester United’s Ighalo reminds me of Papiss Cisse] He’s [Ighalo] holding up the ball really well, scoring goals and very much like reminds me of the Ighalo we saw at Watford when he had that season where he was fantastic, scoring between 15 and 20 [goals] and it looks like he’s got that confidence back. He might go a chunk of games without scoring goals, but once he finds the back of the net, he just goes on a roll. He kind of reminds me of Papiss Cisse. He had that season where he came in and scored goals and everything, he hit like the one at Chelsea, shouldn’t go in but it flies into the corner

I know a lot of people question the signing, but I was always one that said it does make a little bit of sense. They [Manchester United didn’t seem to get hold of anybody and he was willing to come there and take a pay cut from what he was earning [in China]. He’s got pedigree in the Premier League. He’s been up to speed and has been absolutely brilliant. Whether they will keep him beyond this season, I can’t see it, but at the minute, he’s been absolutely fantastic. Everything has gone well for Ighalo. Manchester United have not had to pay much money for him and he wasn’t to be there. He’s spoken about how much he loves Manchester United. He’s been a shining light and someone they [United] needed

[Bent is also of the opinion that Ighalo’s rise and the potential of keeping him at Old Trafford next season will push rising star Mason Greenwood down the pecking order] It might hamper him, maybe a little bit. As far as next season goes [If United keep Ighalo], they’ll have Rashford, Ighalo, Martial, Greenwood and James. That’s five and they never play a front two, it’s always a front three. So you’re going to have Ighalo down the middle, Rashford down the left, Martial really can’t play from the right, so you’ve got Dan James and Greenwood just sitting there

2020 03 28 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Can Spurs really land a Dybala or Coutinho?] That’s the one you’ve got to get, you need them type of signings coming through the door because he is definitely somebody who is exciting, can do good things. He’s that world-class name that people will be like: ‘Okay, Spurs are taking it seriously. You look at last season, we thought they were linked with a couple of superstars - Coutinho, Dybala - and they couldn’t get it over the line. Were they really interested in getting these players in or was it just to appease the crowd? But obviously, if they can somehow get this guy in the door, then what a signing that is

2020 04 12 Retrieve

[The former Tottenham striker cannot see Jack Grealish, the English playmaker, remaining at Aston Villa beyond the end of the current season] I think Jack Grealish has got his sights set on maybe three teams. I would say probably Manchester United, Manchester City, and potentially maybe Spurs. I think they’re the three that are looking at him, and he’s eyeing them thinking ‘I’d like to go to one of them’. I’d probably put Man United at the very, very top of that. If that doesn’t happen and Villa go down, you never know, but for me, he’s got his eye on them

2020 04 17 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Spurs must sell Kane now to get top dollar] When you sell Harry Kane, you want to sell him at his absolute peak, and his peak is right now. So for me, if you’re going to sell him, you’ve got to sell him in the next couple of years, and that’s when you’re going to get the most money for him. Harry Kane has already said himself that if Spurs haven’t progressed at the rate he wants them to then he’s not scared of leaving. It doesn’t surprise me. You want to go and play for one of the giants in Europe - but if you are going to sell him, make sure you sell him at top dollar, and that could be £150-200 million

2020 04 17b Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Norwich City defender Max Aarons would be a great signing for Tottenham] I really like him, Max Aarons. I really, really like him. I watched him a lot in the Championship, and he’s taken a major step up to the Premier League and done very, very well. If Norwich do go down, which looks like it might happen, I think he’ll be out the door. I think he’d be a great signing for Spurs. They struggled, in some respects, to replace Kyle Walker. They’ve got Serge Aurier but he’s really struggled at times. They’ve been had to play Moussa Sissoko back there. So for me, I think he’d be a good signing. We know what Spurs are like, and it really follows that trend of signing young, English players. It’s been happening for years, and for me, it sounds right.

2020 04 18 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Manchester United will not be able to spend upwards of £300 million ($375m) on Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and Jack Grealish] It’s definitely in the price tag that Villa are going to want for him but you look at Spurs - a young, English, brilliant signing

When you look at teams that are also in for Jack, there’s a lot of talk about Manchester United and I think where Spurs might have the edge is they’re going to have the funds to do it.They’re not really linked with anybody else and I think they can get that done, relatively, quite comfortably.

I’m hearing Manchester United linked with Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane, Grealish. For them to get all those players they’re going to have to spend upwards of £300 million. I can see Spurs being the frontrunners and just getting him. I would say probably Manchester United, Manchester City, and potentially maybe Spurs. I think they’re the three that are looking at him, and he’s eyeing them thinking ‘I’d like to go to one of them’

2020 04 20 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Barcelona a better fit for Ndombele than Spurs] I think Ndombele is a very good player but clearly something’s not right there. He’s a top player but he needs to be able to play back-to-back. For whatever reason he doesn’t seem fit enough, he fades in and out of games, he just doesn’t have the impact on games that I’m sure Spurs fans were expecting. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone like Barcelona came in because a team like Barcelona always has possession of the ball, it’s not as frantic as the Premier League and he has got the ability. On the ball, he’s powerful, he can go past people, he can dribble - there’s so much he can do but for whatever reason at Spurs, he cannot find his feet. I remember my first season at Spurs, I really struggled to find my feet but mine came from not playing enough games

2020 05 02 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Jose Mourinho will look to offload Juan Foyth in the next transfer window] Do you know what it is? I think it’s a case of wrong place, wrong time. He came to Spurs at a time where, to be fair, Vertonghen and Alderweireld were playing really well together, fantastically well defensively, so he was never was going to get in there. At right-back they had Kieran Trippier, he was playing, an international playing really well for England and for Spurs so he kind of had to slot in when people weren’t really playing. He eventually got his chance and he was in and out, we hadn’t seen the best of him. Then obviously they bought in Davinson Sanchez and for whatever reason it hasn’t really clicked for him. The same thing happened to me at Spurs, I signed when there were already three strikers there and you can never really find your feet, you never really get the opportunity. For himself, he’s probably thinking it’s for the best. Mourinho would probably agree with him - go somewhere else, start again and rebuild

2020 05 06 Retrieve

[Darren Bent has questioned Tottenham’s reported interest in Southampton ace Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, insisting he is unlikely to add any extra quality to Jose Mourinho’s ranks] Listen, Hojbjerg’s a very good player and he’s had a fantastic season at Southampton, but you look at someone like him and go, ‘Is he going to make them better?’. This is a team that’s got to be competing for Champions Leagues and trophies. If they get Hojbjerg and maybe lose Ndombele, does he make them that much better? Will he be a player other players look at and go, ‘I want to go and play with him?’ I’m not quite sure. When you look at Spurs, and I’m not disrespecting Hojbjerg one bit, he’s had a very, very good season, look at where Spurs have come from in the last eight years or whatever, you talk about Mousa Dembele, Scott Parker, Luka Modric, [Victor] Wanyama - they’ve had so many very good midfielder players. All of sudden you think, ‘Hold on a second here, yes Hojbjerg’s a very good player but will he make them better where people go Spurs are really serious?’ I’m not so sure.

2020 05 10 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Ryan Fraser would be a great signing for Spurs] It’s another body in the door but where does he [Fraser] fit in? You look at their front three and he could potentially fit in on the right. You’ve got Heung-min Son on the left, Harry Kane through the middle and maybe Fraser on the right, battling with Lucas Moura. It would be a great signing and if you can get him on a free as well, wow, what a signing that would be. If I’m Spurs I’m going all out to get that type of player but don’t make that your be-all and end-all. We saw Manchester United do that with Daniel James and yeah, he did very, very well but I’m sure United weren’t expecting him to do as well as he did. If Spurs can get him in on a free, that’s a very, very good start

2020 05 21 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Berbatov only spoke to team-mates at Man Utd!] Well, it wasn’t difficult, because he never spoke to me! We could be in the club canteen, completely empty, and I could be sitting at one table and he would go and sit at another table. There’s no one on the planet he would come and sit next to to have a conversation with. I don’t know if it was shyness or what, and it wasn’t just me. There could be me and another team-mate sitting there talking, there could be five extra seats on our table, and he’d sit at the table further away from us. I was used to it, because I played with him at Spurs first, and this was when I was at Fulham with him as well. I just told the other lads: ‘Yeah, that’s just Berba’. But when I asked a few of the Manchester United players who played with him: ‘Was he like that when he was with you? They were like: ‘No!’ But it’s because they didn’t allow him to get away with that at Manchester United, he was forced to, they kind of made him do it. But with us, because he was obviously the best player, he was like: ‘Nah thanks’

At Fulham it was quite tough for him and he ended up leaving, but at Spurs on the pitch he was absolutely sensational, his touch, everything about him. So he was that way in the dressing room and the canteen and didn’t really speak to anyone, but to be fair to him on the pitch he was a team player. He might not have run as much as some people, but you know he’d always make the right pass, he always had that bit of quality that could win you the game, so he could kind of get away with it. But when he was at Fulham it wasn’t really happening for him, and then you put that with the canteen stuff as well, it becomes a difficult environment. He can be frustrating, but at Fulham not one person shouted at him because he was the best player. It was like he was so superior to everybody people didn’t think it was their right to say anything to him, even if he made the wrong decisions and made mistakes, which did happen sometimes, no one ever said anything to him

2020 05 23 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Tottenham must do all they can to beat Europe’s top teams to the signing of Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen this summer] He’s a very good player and he’s linked with a lot of big clubs around the world so if you can steal him, then what a coup that would be for your club. If you can get top players like that, you go and get them. His favoured position is a number 10 so that would be perfect because you’re talking about him, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son - I think that would work really, really well. At times, I know all teams have a transfer structure where they might go: ‘We need defenders, we need midfielders,’ whatever it may be, but sometimes little curveballs get thrown in. When a player of such quality all of a sudden gets thrown into the market, you’ve got to rip that transfer sheet up and go: ‘He’s the best player available, we’ve got to take him

2020 05 28 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says If Maguire’s worth £85m, then Grealish must go for £80m] Listen, Harry Maguire went for £85m, a world record fee, so you look at Jack Grealish and you’d have to say Jack Grealish has had a better season than Harry Maguire. He’s been absolutely brilliant, he’s carried Aston Villa, I’m sure if it wasn’t for him, Aston Villa would have been relegated ages ago if it hadn’t been for Jack Grealish carrying the team. £80m sounds about right, I don’t think that’s too expensive and I don’t think that will put off anybody

2020 06 02 Retrieve

[Darren Bent says Coutinho no risk & can be a superstar for Spurs] You’re talking about a top, top player who knows the Premier League very, very well. It’s not like you’re taking a risk. Coutinho’s a top player, he’s a superstar signing that Spurs need and even if it’s on loan, that’s the sort of superstar that they need to maybe encourage other superstars to come there. For me, I’d go all out and pay that £8 million, pay that and try and get him. £8million for a top player like him for a year? You take that risk because at the end, you never know, at the end of the year it might work out really, really well. He could transform Spurs into an absolute powerhouse of a team. I wouldn’t even consider it - I’d just do it.

2020 06 21 Retrieve

[Former Spurs striker Darren Bent says Jose Mourinho should leave Dele Alli out of the Tottenham starting XI for Tuesday’s match against West Ham because Erik Lamela deserves to keep his place] It’s going to be an interesting one because I think he might go with the same team. I think Bergwijn, he’s going to play after his goal and his performance, Harry Kane, he’s not going to drop him, Son, you’re not going to drop him, so the next one is Lamela. You’d have to say Lamela played really, really well and to be fair, Lo Celso didn’t even start. I think Alli might have to wait and wait. I think it would be a little bit unfair if Lamela was to come out. Every player deserves a fair crack and Lamela hasn’t at times hasn’t covered himself in glory which is why he hasn’t been a regular but when he does play well, I think he’s earned the right to get another go