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The former Villans star revealed his thoughts on the future of the out-of-favour striker, who lost his place in the starting line-up to Christian Benteke last season

Aston Villa legend Peter Withe believes manager Paul Lambert will be making the right decision if he opts to sell Darren Bent this summer.

The 29-year-old has been linked with a Villa Park exit after losing his first-team berth to Christian Benteke, who notched 23 goals in his debut season in Premier League football last season.

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And Withe feels a potential loss of confidence for Bent should pave the way for the striker to find pastures new, even if it would see Villa suffer a huge loss on the £24 million they paid for the 13-time England international in 2011.

"There’s loads of speculation about the transfer fee and all that but, at the end of the day, it’s about you getting into the team and performing," Withe is quoted as saying by Express & Star.

"If that is not going to happen with Darren Bent at Aston Villa any longer, for whatever reason, then it is probably best for him and the club if he does move on and seek a new challenge.

"When you go from being the main goalscorer to being on the bench, it has an effect on you mentally. When he was signed for big money Villa didn’t have anyone to score goals, so he was the focal point in the team.

"All of a sudden in football, different managers have different ideas about players and he’s maybe not seen as an integral part by Paul Lambert."

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