Former Aston Villa striker Peter Withe believes that a parting of ways between Darren Bent and the club will be best for both parties.
The Premier League outfit have put Bent on the market with two years left on his contract and are expected to get up to £16 million less than they paid for him when they enticed him from Sunderland in 2011.
Following a hamstring problem around Christmas, the 29-year-old fell out of favour and ended up starting just eight league games last season.
Bent’s first campaign at Villa Park was hugely successful, with the player ending up as the top English goalscorer in the top flight.
Withe, a striker himself, scored 74 goals for Villa and sympathised with Bent finding himself so regularly on the bench.
“When you go from being the main goalscorer to being on the bench it has an effect on you mentally,” he told the Birmingham Mail.
“There is loads of speculation about the transfer fee and all that but at the end of the day it’s about you getting into the team and performing.
“If that is not going to happen with Darren Bent at Villa any longer, for whatever reason, then it is probably best for him and the club if he does move on and seek a new challenge.”
Villa manager Paul Lambert has already been busy in the transfer window, making five signings including fellow Denmark internationals Jores Okore and Nicklas Helenius.
They will be joined at the club by 23-year old Aleksander Tonev, winger Leandro Bacuna and former Sevilla player Antonio Luna.