We still have two months before the transfer window will open again, but it's not too early to start thinking about what Aston Villa needs to do during that time to hold off the threat of relegation. Obviously there are many needs on this roster, but to fulfill those needs I believe there's really only one move Villa can take.
It's time to say goodbye to Darren Bent.
Hell, I wonder if Paul Lambert hasn't already done so already. It's entirely possible that Lambert would have like to sell off Bent over the summer, but with Darren recovering from an injury he couldn't get full value for him. Now, if Villa do sell Bent this January, they're not going to come close to the £19 or £24 million we spent to get him from Sunderland two years ago.
Still, he's the most valuable commodity on this team that we can afford to part ways with.
There's no denying that when it comes to putting the ball in the net, there is nobody better on the team than Bent. The problem is that scoring goals is the only thing he knows how to do. Teams that have a lot of talent elsewhere can live with that.
Aston Villa is not one of those teams.
Bent can't score on his own. He needs service, and has been painfully obvious around here since Stewart Downing and Ashley Young left Villa Park, there's nobody on this squad that can provide it for him on a regular basis.
By selling Bent Paul Lambert would get a nice infusion of cash to go out and get somebody who could though. Which is something this team needs more than a goal-scorer.
With a creative mid-fielder the offensive attack on this team would improve tremendously. I have nothing against Karim El Ahmadi -- in fact, I quite like him -- but he certainly isn't the answer. We all know it's not Fabian Delph.
The rest of the midfield? Did you know that Samuel Beckett's original play was titled "Waiting for Stephen Ireland?"
I know there are Barry Bannan fans on this site. Why they're Barry Bannan fans, I'm not entirely sure.
I like what I've seen from Brett Holman, but he's not quite good enough to be a team's main distributor on the attack. He's a complimentary piece.
So who is this player that Villa needs? I don't have anybody in mind. I just know that I'd prefer somebody who has already proven he's capable in this league. Which is why we would need to sell Bent to get him, because players like that aren't cheap.
Hell, I'll sell Gabriel Agbonlahor too if that'll give Lambert more money to spend. Gabby hasn't done much of anything besides get hurt in recent seasons, and if Martin O'Neill and Sunderland were truly interested in him over the summer, maybe they still are.
He's provided Villa with nothing anyway. I think this team could survive with Benteke and Wiemann up front if that duo has somebody who can find them in the box consistently enough.
It's painfully obvious that the status quo isn't working. And when things are broke, you fix them.
Selling Bent is how Villa starts.