Aston Villa hero Paul Merson fears Darren Bent plans to quit the club.
Despite his club’s desperate start to the new season, Villa Park boss Paul Lambert has axed Bent, 28, from his last two Premier League starting line-ups. And Merson admits he is totally baffled to see hotshot Bent become an outcast under Lambert.
Merson, who played for Villa between 1998 and 2002, told the Daily Star Sunday: “How Darren is only a sub I do not know – he’s their only natural scorer. He’s one of the very few natural scorers in England, let alone at Villa.
“To put him as sub in a team that do not make millions of chances in a game, I just could not believe it – and he’d scored in the previous game against Southampton.
“Bent is never going to give you a lot more than scoring goals.
“He’s not going to get the ball on the halfway line and bring people into the game because that’s not his style. But as a natural finisher and in a struggling team that don’t make a lot of chances, Villa really need him.
“And after taking the captaincy off him as well, I’d be shocked if he was there after January.”