Bent, after all, cost a club-record £18m rising to £24m when he arrived from Sunderland in January 2011, he played a significant role in keeping Gérard Houllier's side up that season, and is one of the most prolific Premier League strikers of recent times, averaging a goal every 181 minutes over the past eight seasons (his record of one every 193 minutes in a Villa shirt is not too shabby, especially given the mess the club have been in during that time).
Lambert has never explained his reasons for jettisoning Bent, who has been made to train away from the first team (with what has become known as the "Bomb squad") during pre-season, weakening Villa's negotiating position with potential purchasers, with his likely price now so low that a sizeable chunk of the money received is likely to be swallowed up by making up the player's wages at his new club. Curious, in a word.
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