Bent central to Capello's plans

04 October 2010 10:55
England coach Fabio Capello expects Sunderland striker Darren Bent to be a pivotal figure for the Three Lions in the future.

Bent was overlooked for the World Cup, despite his 24 goals leaving him second only to Wayne Rooney amongst English-born players in the Premier League last season.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has never had any reservations about the 26-year-old's quality, yet it seemed Capello was not listening to frequent calls from the Stadium of Light for Bent to be given his chance.

The striker was selected for the friendly against Brazil in Doha last November but failed to shine in an injury-hit team and an equally disappointing display against Japan in May meant he spent the summer on holiday in the United States rather than terrorising defenders in South Africa.

However, ahead of his squad announcement for next Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley, Capello has confirmed Bent - who has already scored eight times this season, including one for England against Switzerland last month when he collected his seventh cap - is now a key part of his plans.

"Bent is back," Capello told "In front of goal, he is really dangerous.

"He played 20 minutes against Switzerland and scored an important goal. Now he is training really well.

"He is probably one of the important players for the future."

Bent is likely to start alongside Wayne Rooney next week now that Jermain Defoe has been ruled out with an ankle injury.

Certainly there does not appear an obvious like-for-like replacement for Defoe as Michael Owen's three goals for Manchester United have not been enough to convince Capello to give England's fourth highest goalscorer a chance.

What seems certain is that once again, Manchester City will provide a significant percentage of Capello's squad.

The Blues had six players on the field at the end of that impressive win in Basle last month - including Adam Johnson, who scored as a substitute against both Bulgaria and Switzerland and seems certain to start as Theo Walcott's replacement.

"National teams that won titles, the World Cup and the Euros, had something like this," he said.

"Spain had players from three teams; seven from Barcelona, three from Real Madrid and one from Villarreal.

"Also, when Italy won the World Cup they had a lot of players from Juventus

"It is really important to have this group because they train every day together, they play together regularly in matches. They know everything better.

"It is easier to find each other when you play together for the national team. You hope to find the same spirit and mentality in your own team."

Source: Team_Talk