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David Bentley

David Bentley
Norwich Career: 2004-2005 (on loan from Arsenal)  (28 appearances, 2 goals)
Current Club:
Date of Birth: 27/08/1984 (Peterborough)
Nationality: English


Arsenal youngster David Bentley joined Norwich on a season-long loan on June 3rd 2004.

Peterborough born but raised in Cheshunt, Bentley progressed through the youth and reserve team ranks at Highbury, making his debut in Arsenal's 2003/4 Carling Cup campaign when a young Gunners' side reached the semi-finals. He also made one Premiership appearance, had one outing in the European Champions League and came on as substitute in three FA Cup games scoring against Middlesbrough in the fourth round. Captain of the England Under-18 side, he made his England Under-21 debut against Holland in February where he scored a stunning goal.

Bentley's signing was a real coup for Nigel Worthington who beat off competition from the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United to the signature of one of the brightest youngsters in the game. A talent that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger describes as being, technically, "top, top, top". Wenger is a fan of the season-long loan to help develop young talents who are too good for the reserves but not likely to gain first team football. "The biggest difficulty I have in the club is when players get to 18 and you have to manage them between 19 and 22. Do you get him out on loan or put him in the squad? Do you put him in the first team straight way? It is very difficult," said Wenger. "If he is in the squad and he practices with me then it is because I believe he has the talent," added the Arsenal chief. "But at the same time I would like to get him some experience. He is a great talent and he needs to play now. At 19-years-old you are always impatient. It is normal."

Bentley made his competitive debut for Norwich on August 14th 2004 in the 1-1 Premiership draw with Crystal Palace and scored his first competitive goal against Newcastle on August 25th 2004. He finished the season with 28 appearances and two goals.

Bentley returned to Arsenal at the end of May 2005 but Nigel Worthington expressed an interest in bringing him back to Carrow Road on another loan deal if Arsenal were interested. Crystal Palace also exressed a similar interest. David was played on the transfer-list at the beginning of the 2005/6 season and was quickly linked with a £1million transfer to Glenn Hoddle's Wolves. Crystal Palace were reumoured to be preparing a bid but on 31st August 2005, David joined Blackburn Rovers on loan until the end of the 2005/6 season.

David made his switch to Ewood Park permanent on 31st January 2006 for an undisclosed fee. He celebrated by scoring a hat-trick the following day for Blackburn as they beat Manchester United 4-3.

In January 2007, the Daily Mirror speculated that Manchester United would swoop for Bentley if their efforts to sign Bayern Munich's Owen Hargreaves fail. Bentley's form led to a call-up for the England B squad clash with Albania on 25th May 2007 where his impressive form in the3-1 victory led to a call-up to the England full squad for the friendly against Brazil and the UEFA2008 qualifier against Estonia.

In June 2007, Bentley was called up to the England Under-21 squad for the European Under-21 Championships in Holland. However, he pulled out of the squad citing fatigue, and England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce questioned the midfielder's commitment to the national squad. This withdrawal led to Bentley being excluded in the senior England squad for the friendly against Germany, but he was selected for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia. He made his senior début when he came on as a substitute for Shaun Wright-Phillips against Israel

On 16th December 2007, the Observer reported that Spanish giants Valencia and Athletico Madrid were seeking to lure Bentley away from Ewood Park.

Bentley was included in Fabio Capello's first squad as England manager for the February 2008 clash with Switzerland and was included in the starting line-up, playing all 90 minutes as England won 2-1.

On 9th March 2008, The People claimed that "Chelsea are set to make a £10m summer swoop for Blackburn winger David Bentley". Two weeks later, The People claimed that Bentley was a target for Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez who is willing to pay £12m for the England star - and incude former Arsenal bad boy Jermaine Pennant in any deal. Manchester City and Valencia are also keen but their poor league positions have ruled them out as Bentley realises he needs to play for a top team if he is to be David Beckham's regular replacement in the England team.

In June 2008, it was speculated that Bentley might be a target for new Manchester City boss Mark Hughes who was previously at Blackburn. The News of the World on 8th June 2008 speculated that Bentley was one of four English-based players that Jose Mourinho would attempt to sign for Inter Milan. Subsequent reports linked him with a return to London with Spurs and also that he was a target for Aston Villa once they had sold Gareth Barry to Liverpool

On 31st July 2008, David signed for Tottenham in a deal initially worth £15m with an additional £2million payable dependent upon on future performances. He signed a six year contract and said "It means the world to join Tottenham. Gazza was my favourite player, all my mates are Tottenham fans and there's a piece of my heart at this club. I didn't think they would be interested in me and when it became available there was nowhere else I wanted to go." It is believed that there was a sell-on clause in the deal that took Bentley to Blackburn and that Arsenal received around £4.5m from Bentley's return to North London.

Following a disappointing first season with Spurs, it was reported in numerous sources that Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp would look to sell Bentley during the summer of 2009 with Aston Villa rumoured to be favourites.

Bentley was arrested on 13th August 2009 for drink-driving after a crash in Judges Hill, Northaw, in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire early in the morning.

The Metro reported on 15th December 2010 that Bentley wants to leave White Hart Lane after falling out of favour with Harry Redknapp in a bid to reignite his flailing career.And the former Blackburn and Arsenal star has identified Anfield as his first-choice destination amid speculation that Hodgson is considering a bid in the region of £5million to take him to Merseyside. T he former England international had started just one Premier League game all season

Bentley joined Birmingham City on a six month loan on 13th January 2011 but was not able to avoid them being relegated to the Championship on 22nd May 2011

On 31st August 2011, Bentley joined West Ham on a season long loan as part of the deal that took Scott Parker from Upton Park to White Hart Lane. He played just five times before he needed knee surgery and returned to Spurs. In February 2012, he was linked with a loan switch to MK Dons with Dons' boss Karl Robinson stating "David is a friend of mine. He needs to play football. He would be perfect for us. He knows where I am. We are only 40 minutes from where he lives and we both have the same agent."

On 6th September 2012, David was loaned to Russian Premier League side FC Rostov until January 2013. FC Rostov finished 13th in 2012/13 and had won just one of their seven opening games in the Russian league.

At the end of the January 2013 transfer window, rumours were rife that Harry Redknapp was going to sign bentley for QPR but it did not materialise.

On 15th February 2013, Bentley rejoined Blackburn, on loan until the end of the season. He made his debut on 16th February as a 53rd minute substitute against Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round, which Blackburn won 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium

Bentley played seven times for Blackburn. Returning to Spurs, the club announced at the beginning of June 2013 that they would not be renewing Bentley's contract when it expires at the end of the month. During the summer of 2013, he was linked with foreign sides Espanyol, FC Utrecht and Levski

Bentley announced his retirement in June 2014.

In February 2015, he took up gaelic football for a TV documentary "The Toughest Trade" making his debut for Crossmaglen against Silverbridge, scoring three points.

Playing History

Club Season
  Appearances Goals Appearances Goals Appearances Goals Appearances Goals
Arsenal 2002/03 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
2003/04 1 0 6 1 1 0 8 1
Norwich 2004/5 26 2 2 0 0 0 28 2
Blackburn (loan) 2005/6 14 0 6 2 0 0 20 2
Blackburn 2005/6 15 3 0 0 0 0 15 3
  2006/7 36 4 7 0 8 3 51 7
  2007/8 37 6 4 1 5 1 48 8
Tottenham 2008/9 25 1 5 0 5 1 35 2
  2009/10 15 2 9 2 0 0 24 4
  2010/11 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 0
Birmingham 2010/11 13 0 2 1 0 0 15 1
West Ham 2011/12 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
FC Rostov 201213 7 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Blackburn (loan) 2012/13 7 0 0 0 0 0 7 0


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