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£18m Aston Villa Striker Hints At Personal Problems With Paul Lambert

Striker fuming with manager over playing time.

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has spoken out about his relationship with manager Paul Lambert after continually being left out of the team during his time at the club, the Daily Mail reports.

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The 30-year-old, currently on loan for the second half of the season with Championship side Derby County, was an £18m signing for Villa from Sunderland back in 2011, but immediately found himself on the bench when Lambert took over in 2012.

Bent then had an unsuccessful loan spell with Fulham last season, and has also spent time on loan with Brighton this term as his struggles at Villa Park continued.

Asked if he thought Lambert’s problems with him could be personal, the former England international wouldn’t rule it out, pointing out that he was never in the side whether or not other players were injured, and regardless of the team’s need for goals after a dry spell upfront.

“Is it personal? I don’t know to be honest,” he said. “I spoke to Paul and he told me my chance was coming. He told me my attitude was first-class. Then the games came along and I wasn’t playing.

“For whatever reason, he’s not used me — even though the team struggled to score, I’ve still not played. Is it deeper than what people say? It might be, who knows?

“I thought I would play. For some reason I didn’t. Christian (Benteke) had done his injury and was out — and I still didn’t play! I don’t know what sort of option that made me. If Christian was fit, I was on the bench. If he wasn’t, I was on the bench.”

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