Darren Bent loses hero status at Sunderland

Darren Bent looks happy as he is unveiled as an Aston Villa player last night.
Darren Bent looks happy as he is unveiled as an Aston Villa player last night.
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DARREN Bent has gone from hero to Villan.

That was how Sunderland fans reacted to the striker’s £24m transfer to Aston Villa.

And their view of the England ace fell even further after he claimed his reason for leaving was not down to money.

Manager Steve Bruce said both the supporters and the club have “every right” to feel let down by the switch.

On the Echo website, readers have been having their say in droves. Devonred wrote: “Does Bent think we are all stupid?

If it is not about the money then perhaps he should publish the relevant parts of his contract online.

“I for one would have a lot more respect for the guy if he was honest, and said ‘yeah they’ve offered me an extra 20 grand a week and I’m taking the money.’

“Nobody would turn that down, but a bit of honesty in football would make a refreshing change.”

Tucky said: “The straw that broke it was when he said Villa were a massive club, that’s just disrespectful to Sunderland.

“He would still be fourth string at Spurs if we didn’t stump up £10million and haul him out, and to insinuate that Villa a team in relegation position are bigger than us is insulting to fans who adored him.”

Olympian Tony Jeffires wrote on Twitter that he was “gutted” about Bent’s departure, and surprised people thought it was for money.

“Surely not,” he added. “He’s already loaded and can buy whatever he wants, there must be more to it than that.”

Manager Steve Bruce said he was disappointed that Bent had gone, but reiterated his aim to build a talented, squad for to achieve sustained success.

He said: “Our supporters and the club as a whole have every right to feel massively let down.

“It’s obvious he’s not been himself in training and we’ve certainly not seen the best of him in games in recent weeks - and we now understand why.”

Many agree the Bent sale is a good deal, with 85 per cent of the 929 who voted on the Echo website saying the club should sell him for £24million.