The striker's consistent goalscoring has proved his critics wrong, according to his on loan teammate, who believes his move away from Spurs was the right decision.Aston Villa striker Darren Bent will be especially motivated when he faces former team Tottenham on Monday, according to Jermaine Jenas.
The midfielder is ineligible for the match as he is on loan at Villa from Spurs, but the England forward will be available to play at White Hart Lane on Monday night.
The 27-year-old endured a difficult spell at Tottenham and eventually forced through a move to Sunderland, before moving to the Midlands in January. But he has since gone on to establish himself for his country, and Jenas feels he will be particularly looking forward to playing against Spurs.
"I wouldn't say he has something to prove [against Spurs] but everyone wants to do well when they go back to one of their old clubs,” he told The Guardian. "I am sure he will want to go to White Hart Lane and want to score."
Bent signed for Tottenham in a 16.5 million pound transfer from Charlton, but had a strained relationship with the club and manager Harry Redknapp, who remarked that his wife could have scored a chance the striker missed, with the player going on to clash with chairman Daniel Levy before leaving.
“I think the way that Darren left Spurs probably wasn't the way he wanted to leave but it was the right move for him and his career," Jenas said. “I don't think it affected him at Sunderland because he went there and started banging in the goals. Darren rates himself and knows how good he is as an individual so it is just up to him to keep doing it."
Bent has now scored 96 Premier League goals, which only Wayne Rooney has bettered over the last seven seasons, but Jenas believes he has only now gained the recognition he deserves.
"He has consistently scored goals wherever he has been and does he get enough credit for it? Probably not. I think he turned his career around," Jenas said. “At one point perhaps people looked at him as a bit of a hit-and-miss type striker but he is prolific now, it's as simple as that. No one can question his goals-to-games ratio.”
Bent has become an England regular after being left out of the squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and Jenas argues his form for the national team further demonstrates his quality.
"Playing for England is the top level and he's playing with and against better players with England but is still banging in the goals," he said. "Whether it is tap-ins or whatever, he seems to find the right place. Every team would love a player like that."
Villa manager Alex McLeish added that his role in the recent 1-0 friendly victory against Spain was key.
“He was starved of support last week but Fabio’s tactics understandably were designed to stop Spain and they worked, which is great," McLeish said. “Significantly, the only real quality ball into the box was met by Bent, which led to Lampard’s goal on the rebound. He’s the guy who still gets into the positions."