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McLeish welcomes Bentley arrival
Published : 13 Jan 2011 08:00:20
Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has urged David Bentley to seize the chance to reinvigorate his career at St Andrew's.
The England midfielder has joined Blues on loan until the end of the season after struggling to gain regular first-team football at Tottenham.
McLeish told www.bcfc.com: "He has had his moments at Spurs but there is fierce competition for places there. They have a glut of superstars. With the introduction of people like (Rafael) van der Vaart, players of that ilk, and the rise of (Aaron) Lennon, it has become very difficult for him. The quality is amazing and maybe he can get his career back on track here."
Bentley was highly regarded in his early days after coming through the youth system at Arsenal and cost Spurs £15million when they signed him from Blackburn in July 2008.
However, the 26-year-old has never shown his best form with any consistency and has managed just one Barclays Premier League start so far this season.
He now has a chance to impress at Birmingham, and could be available for the local derby against Aston Villa at St Andrew's on Sunday.
The Blues boss added: "We're delighted to have David's services. He is a classy footballer and will enhance the quality of the squad.
"He is a natural footballer capable of top delivery at set-pieces. With the likes of him, (Alexander) Hleb and (Sebastian) Larsson - who has had a great season consistency-wise - we have creative players. Bentley can provide more competition.
McLeish praised the club's board for their efforts in ensuring the deal went through.
"It's well done to the persuasiveness of the club. I know David was on the hit list of five or six clubs so we're delighted he chose us," he added.