A great example of everything that’s wrong with the English Premier League. Vain, cocky, overpaid and rarely fulfils his undoubted potential. A guy who wants to be David Beckham, unfortunately he turns out to be David Bentley.
The early signs were promising. Brought through the ranks at Arsenal, he showed plenty of ability with the Gunners but never made the breakthrough. There were decent spells at Norwich and Blackburn, however, even after earning his big move to Spurs, he’s never developed into the type of player that many expected. There have been some high points – the hat-trick against Manchester United while at Ewood Park and the wonder strike for Spurs at the Emirates spring to mind – but Bentley now finds himself on loan at Birmingham and it’s not clear where his long-term future lies.
He was expected to be Beckham’s successor in the England side, but that opportunity appears to have gone too, with Aaron Lennon and Theo Walcott now preferred.
Still only 26, a player as naturally gifted as Bentley should still have time to make an impact at the highest levels of the game. However, it seems more likely that he will drift from one club to another, every now and then rising above those around him with a moment of magic.
Does Bentley really have the motivation to take his game to another level, or, like many players of his generation, has the money and the recognition all come a little too easily?