Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes star striker Darren Bent will have a major part to play in the club’s plans this season.
The new Villa chief will be able to unleash the England striker from the start of the new Premier League campaign after Bent recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of Euro 2012.
After such a disappointing season last time around, the Villa fans will be hoping their record signing enjoys a much more successful year and feature much more heavily in the live in-play betting markets.
Lambert, who replaced Alex McLeish earlier in the summer, has admitted his delight at having the chance to work with one of the Premier League’s most clinical finishers, and one who has proven his ability at the top level for years.
“Darren will be huge, absolutely huge. He’s a goalscorer. Every team needs them,” said Lambert.
“You can’t just rely on one guy to score you the goals, but his influence at the football club is huge as a result of what he has done in his football career up to now.
“He had a fabulous goalscoring record at Sunderland and if you look at it, his goalscoring career here is phenomenal.
“For England, too, he is a threat. He would have gone to the Euros no problem if he had been fit. It is a big plus for us to have him fit.”
Those that bet on soccer games will tell you that injury disrupted much of Bent’s season last year, as well as the sheer lack of chances that McLeish’s side managed to muster for the striker.
A new manager and new approach will hopefully get the best out of Bent this season, and if that happens then Villa have one of the league’s most dangerous forwards.