Fulham boss Martin Jol added to his options up front last week by acquiring Darren Bent from Aston Villa on a season-long loan, with a view to making the deal permanent at the end of the current campaign. The 29-year-old’s arrival continues a summer of restructuring that has seen Jol target experience campaigners, with the likes of Maarten Stekelenburg, Fernando Amorebieta, Adel Taarabt and Scott Parker also added to the Cottagers’ ranks:

Jol had recently admitted he was desperate to find a solution to his striking problems, with far too much reliance placed on Dimitar Berbatov to deliver. Beating off the challenge of Crystal Palace and Newcastle, the Fulham boss was delighted to land his man:

“Darren Bent is a striker I have always admired. He has shown in the Barclays Premier League that he is composed and clinical in front of goal but, even if he is not scoring, he is involved in some good link-up play, creating opportunities for his teammates. I’m delighted that he has joined us, he gives us pace up front and I am confident that he will add to our goals scored tally this season.”

The History

A product of the Ipswich Town youth system, Bent’s career got underway back in 2001. After scoring 48 goals in 122 appearances across four seasons in the top-flight and Championship, he was snapped up by then-Premier League Charlton in June 2005. His eye for goal flourished at the Valley, with 31 goals and an assist in just 68 appearances catching the eye of Tottenham, with the north London outfit shelling out £16.5m for his services in the summer of 2007.

Bent’s time at the Lane proved frustrating, though. With 28 of his 60 appearances coming courtesy of the subs’ bench, he notched 18 times and provided seven assists before Harry Redknapp sold him off to Sunderland in July 2009. A first season on Wearside was hugely successful – installed as the Black Cats’ first-choice forward, Bent started all 38 league matches and racked up 24 goals and four assists. Having produced eight goals and an assist over 20 appearances in 2010/11, Bent moved again, making his way to Villa during the winter transfer window.

Bent’s time at the midlands got off to a strong start. Up and running with nine goals in 16 matches, his prospects dipped with the arrival of Alex McLeish in 2011/12 – he gathered nine goals in 22 games but his season came to an abrupt end after sustaining a knee injury. With McLeish gone and Paul Lambert installed in the Villa hotseat, Bent’s chances were dealt a further blow by the arrival of Christian Benteke. Playing second fiddle to the Belgian, Bent mustered a mere sixteen appearance, with eight off the bench, and found the net just three times in his final year in the midlands. On the international stage, the 29-year-old has produced five goals and an assist over 13 appearances for England.

The Prospects

Bent’s arrival at the Cottage could, potentially, hand Fantasy managers a viable mid-price contender for their three-man frontlines over the season ahead. Coming in at 6.5 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), he is likely to be fielded as the most advanced forward in Jol’s 4-4-1-1 formation and with a security of starts seemingly on the cards, will surely be targeted once his match-sharpness is up to scratch.

The downside, however, is the likely effect on Dimitar Berbatov’s potential. The Bulgarian thrived as Fulham’s main forward in 2012/13 – with Bryan Ruiz supplying the creativity from behind, the former United man notched 163 points in FPL last term but he now looks set to drop into “the hole” in order to accommodate Bent. As we saw last year, when a hamstring injury kept Ruiz on the sidelines for a number of weeks, Berbatov’s Fantasy returns took a real turn for the worse when moved to a more withdrawn berth and, while his spot-kick duties offer some solace, there’s no doubt his appeal will lessen if Bent cements a first-team place.

Ruiz’s prospects looks even more concerning. Some had fancied the Costa Rican as a decent budget option but the expected shake-up should force him into midfield, with a role on the right flank looking the likeliest scenario, with Adel Taarabt operating on the opposite wing. The likes of Damien Duff, Ashkan Dejagah, Alex Kacaniklic and Pajtim Kasami may have to settle for bench-warming duties if such a scenario transpires, as Jol freshens up his options on the flanks.

An unused sub in last Saturday’s win over former club Sunderland, Bent may be introduced from the bench over the next couple of matches as he builds up his fitness. With a fortnight’s international break already on the horizon, he’ll be afforded plenty time to bring his sharpness up to speed and potentially come into consideration when domestic action resumes mid-September. From Gameweek 4 onwards, Jol’s side have four enticing fixtures from the following five which will offer the new boy the chance to prove his worth – home games against West Brom, Cardiff and Stoke, allied with a trip to Palace, could well have the bandwagon rolling before long.

Further Reference

Darren Bent Wikipedia

Darren Bent Transfer Markt Page

About The Author


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  1. Rate my starting XI for this coming week


    Zabaleta Coleman Toure

    Mirallas Hazard Walcott Coutinho

    Sturridge Soldado Benteke

    FPL Winning class?

    Yeah, thought so :cool:

    1. Excellent Nate.



        Just practicing

        1. Same. I fancy a bit of City attack for next week though.

    2. Meh.

      Kidding it's sexual.

      Although would prefer Silva to Coutinho as you have Studge (which then happens to be my front 7 ;-)

    3. I have... Olsson Coleman dawson - - - Walcott silva hazard Coutinho - - - Lambert benteke Soldado.

      Quite similar - let's see how it goes ;) most likely to be 2-1 Liverpool based on averages...

    4. Mignolet
      Toure, Shaw, M.Turner.
      Hazard, Walcott, Mirallas, Snodgrass.
      Van Persie, Soldado, Dzeko.

      1. Dzeko,RVP,Snod,Murner,Shaw,Mig



        Close, but i like my chances

        1. Reckon captains will decide it. You got any plans for RVP GW4?

          1. I think he will be benched

            Might get him in week 5, if TV allows it. Will probably downgrade Coutinho for that

    5. I hope so! Mines identical apart from Benteke & Coleman to Lambert & Ward.

    6. 49 points

    7. Are U on Boruc + 4.0?

  2. Migs (Lewis)
    Coleman Collins Toure (Chester Olsson-NOR)
    Oscar Hazard Walcott Mirallas (Barkley)
    Dzeko Lukaku Soldado

    Exactly £3,0m in the bank. Did Pozuelo>Barkley for bandwagon + season keeper potential. Any thoughts on pulling the trigger on Lukaku>Aguero(c) for -4 tonight? The possible albeit unlikely price drop would prevent this transfer and make operation RVP more difficult than it already is.

    1. Wildcard

      1. Not doing that anytime soon...

      2. ??is a good team

    2. I did Hazard > Barkley and thinking of doing Lukaku > Aguero tonight too...

      1. I nearly made the Hazard move as well but wanted to see the Villa game before deciding which Chelsea mid to drop. Also wanted to get rid of the brain fart that was Alex Pozuelo, haha.

    3. How you plan on getting RvP if you go Aguero this week?

      1. Heavily downgrading Hazard/Oscar. I'm not in a hurry to get him, though. GW6 is the plan at this moment.

        1. Interesting. Ive done Ivanovic > Coleman and have 4.0m in the bankwas thinking go Lambert upgrade Benteke to RvP now im not so sure. Could Osvaldo nick a few goals? And maybe not wise planning a transfer for gw4 or whenever when theres pointsnext week.

          1. Osvaldo will take some time and goals away from Lambert. Bony might be worth that extra 0,5m. Haven't set anything in stone about RvP yet but all I know is that the price drop could result in awkward spots in the future. I think I'll drop Lukaku tonight just to be safe.

  3. Osvaldo has been added to the game at 8.0

    do you think he will be better than Lambert

      1. Im sticking Lambert until Osvaldo is proven i think

  4. Anyone transferring out all 3 Chelsea players this week?

    1. yep...but im on wc :wink:

      1. Optimus, how is your WC looking? I am building a team with RVP and Aguero

        1. im either going..

          rvp soldado sturridge
          aguero soldado sturridge

          1. The cool kids have RVP and Aguero

            1. i want sturridge as well though

              1. I have Coutinho for Pool coverage though

            2. Have Dzeko RVP and Aguero

    2. ....

    3. Nope, only 2

      What transfers you doing?

      1. Terry & Lukaku :arrow: Shaw and Soldado, most likely.

    4. 2 maybe Parm, keeping and benching Hazard for GW 3.

      Think that Ivan + Lukaku > Collins + Dzeko (-4) is worth it?

    5. Waiting to see what happens tomorrow night, first!
      Relaaaaaxxxxxxxx ;)

    6. Contemplating going RVP, Soldado and Aguero upfront.

      So yes thinking of it


        1. for -8 though, cant be worth it though can it

  5. Would it be stupid to double up on Man City defence for the next 3 game weeks? Nastasic or Lescott?

    1. Why would that be stupid, if they score you points? :)

      1. Because if they concede that's 2 out of 3 defenders that have lost their clean sheet

        1. So is there another team that is less likely to concede?
          (You see my point? Its the 'Migs and Kolo' arugment, really...)

          1. It's a risk I may be willing to take. But it means ill have to take a four point hit. If my Chelsea players flop tomorrow I won't do it. If I still had a free transfer I'd do it. Also it'd be out of Nastasic and Lescott. Probably Lescott. But then there's always a chance Nastastic could take his place before I transfer him out.

    2. Nasty is injured mate

      1. He's expected to be back this weekend according to this website

          1. Click on the injuries bit at the top...

            1. Ta, Sarj! :)

        1. Is he really? I didn't know that. Thanks.

  6. Ok very bad start for me with only 40 points with just hazard (C) and Lukaku to play.
    My team is:

    Boruc Gazaniga

    Kosc Shaw Collins M.Turner Chester

    Hazard Walcott Mirallas Snodgrass Williams

    RVP Lukaku Sturridge

    What to do with this lot?

    1. Good team in the long run

      1. Cheers, Lukaku and Kosc are my worries

  7. Lescott 5.5m and only 1 goal less than Zab last season, with 3/5 of the minutes played.
    But, will he play more this season FFS?

    1. Nastasic and Kompany first choices

      Lescott living on borrowed time, but could be a decent 2 week punt

      1. Thanks, Nate!
        When are they expected back?

        1. Nastasic should be back for Hull

          No idea about Kompany. Probably Week 4

    2. Not likely. Mr. Engineer mentioned Nastasic will be back within the week.

  8. Captaining dzeko a bit too much of a risk this week?

    1. It's a risk I might take

    2. Over who?

  9. Ward-Prowse starting for Southampton?

    1. Nope.

    2. Avoid, he won't start many games at all

  10. If you are thinking of transferring out a Chelsea player tonight, hold your horses.

    We will all laugh at you if you do that and another of your Chelsea players gets injured tomorrow.

    1. Yes, but if Lukaky drops tonight, i'm gonna delete my team

      1. Lol

    2. Good ole' Advice Mallard

    3. I'm desperate to tinker, but have 5 players still to play on Wednesday, so I'm sitting waiting on potential injuries.

  11. Migs

    Zab Turner Collins

    Walcott Coutinho Mirallas Hazard

    Soldado Lukaku Lambert

    1) Who to captain?

    2) Who to sub for GW3?

  12. Aspas or Wolfie? (Aspas is on Sky) :)

  13. any official news on the lord joining wba

    1. What? Me??

  14. If anyone doesnt get 100 points this DGW, they should just stop playing this game.

    1. if hazard bangs in a couple will all get there

    2. I should be ok. As long as Hazard, Ivanovic and Lukaku all score a hat trick on Wednesday.

    3. Score RonH?

      1. He has 70

        1. Nice. He still might need to stop playing.

          1. Exactly. Lucky owning Mignolet and Coleman this week, but it won't happen week in, week out.

          2. I was just teasing lol

    4. I need a Lukaku hat trick all assisted by Hazard and a clean sheet + goal from Ivanovic for this to be the case

      1. Haha i need the same, lets pray together!!!

  15. What's the expected back four of Man City going to be for GW2/3/4?

    1. Zabaleta, Lescott, Garcia, Clichy.

      Zabaleta, Lescott, Nastasic, Clichy.

      Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott/Nastasic, Kolarov.

      1. Kolarov!!

      2. Kompany out for that long?

      3. Top one i'd sAy

  16. The first week is always slightly depressing. Guy at the top of my work mini-league has 80 points (after auto-subs) with Oscar to come, despite having Bale in his team (vice-captain).

    Someone else ahead of me has Adebayor as one of his strikers and captained Bony despite having 3 Chelsea.

    Another ahead of me has Giggs and Carrick in his midfield and benched Coutinho this week.

    Ah well....

    1. lol,my league is the same

    2. The guy who is second to me in the league has Lovren 3rd on his bench. 1st is Ravel Morrison (who didn't play), 2nd is some defender who played and got 0. Shame that he has Luiz and Kagawa so on comes Lovren with his CS, 90 minutes and 3 baps.

    3. guy top of 1 of my Mls has no Chelsea and 82 points :neutral:

      1. Bloody hell, not a bad team either. Why the no Chelsea I wonder.

        1. genious

  17. Will Liverpool new singing keep Toure out of the starting 11?

    1. No, he will rival enrique

    2. I thought the new guy is a left back?

    3. Isn't he a left back

      More likely to keep Jose out

      1. actually he is back up for enrique most likely. just a loanee for the season in case jose gets injured so they arent forced to put johnson at LB again

  18. What r Norwich chances against hull guys?? Need reassurenee

    1. pretty damn strong imo. although hull weren't too bad this week.

      1. good thanks

  19. Rui

    Lukaku -->

    A. Lambert
    B. Bony
    C. Dzeko
    D. Aguero (& Hazard --> 6.5, -4)

    I have Silva for City cover but doubling up wouldn't be a bad shout?


    1. Rui

      *Other two strikers are Sturridge and Soldado.

    2. C for me, but wait to see what Lukaku does tomorrow.

      1. eu apostava no aguero...tb vou fazer o mesmo.

  20. Help,
    I didn't "Favourite" other site to assess MY TEAMS change in ownership stats etc..

    Please remind me and what are the thresholds for price changes here in FPL?

    Thanks from NovaScotia

    1. Try, all price changes, captain poll, nd rate my team on there, also Frank is amazing :)

  21. Guy in one of my leagues:

    Look at his captain choice and bench :)

    1. Auto-selected?

      1. I don't know, it's just unfathomable

    2. ...And he's still outscoring me :(

      1. Amazingly, he hasn't done bad at all!

    3. danny graham was a good shout this week.

    4. That is the most stupid decision I'v ever seen! Best striker in the league or the worst striker in the league! LOL

    5. Haha Lloris on the Bench too

  22. People are really getting on Hazards back here! Guaranteed he will have a brilliant season

    1. Frisking the fixtures is back

  23. New Post
    1. Now you write.....Copying me, after 9 minutes :-)

  24. Is Snodgrass set to go down in value any time soon?

    1. Should be a few more days yet, and he's expected to play, so flag may be removed soon.

  25. Android user install Fantasy Football Buddy........ quick check on points nd things.

  26. Ivan/Lukaku ->Shaw/Sturridge worth a hit? bank the extra million


  27. Did anyone follow?

      1. Site still crashing a bit though...

    1. I think this is a good idea the site is over the top, it gets ridiculous. Need to consider a members forum

  28. So how was your first week?

    Lots of tweaking to do, or more or less set for next week?

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Fixture Ticker

“My team this year has been the Fantasy Premier League equivalent of a Morecambe & Wise sketch. I've played all the right players . . . but not necessarily in the right order.”

Fantacity on his 2013/14 season