Bent planning talks with Aston Villa manager Lambert after season on the sidelines

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent will meet with manager Paul Lambert to discuss his future at the club after making only seven Premier League starts this season, the Daily Mail has reported.

Bent, Villa’s record signing, bought by Gerard Houllier from Sunderland for £24m, has been overlooked in favour of the likes of Andy Weimann, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke, despite being appointed as club captain at the start of the season by Lambert, who moved to Villa Park after a season in the top flight with Norwich City.

And Bent has revealed how watching from afar has pained him as Villa struggled against relegation throughout the campaign, their safety only confirmed when Wigan Athletic lost heavily to Arsenal on Tuesday evening.

The 29-year-old said: “It’s obviously frustrating. The season started off so differently to what it is now. I do get angry at times. I like to play in all the games. I want to play as many games as I possibly can. Obviously, that’s no secret.

And every game you don’t play in hurts that little bit more. Especially when you are on the bench and come on – you’re still hurting because you want to start. But that’s nowhere near as bad as when you’re sitting on the bench and you don’t come on at all. It does hurt.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed my time at Villa and I’ve got a good relationship with the fans and the club. But I’m going to have to take a long, hard look at my situation because it’s about playing games and I can’t have another season like I’ve had because time is running out for me.

Bent added that he has not yet raised his complaints with Lambert as he did not want to cause trouble while the club’s top flight status remained in the balance but, with safety now assured, he intended to speak with the manager, chairman and his agent to clarify his situation.

Former Tottenham Hotspur forward Bent is also in line to play Villa’s final game of the season with top scorer Benteke suspended following his red card in Villa’s last outing, a 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea.

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