Ex-Spurs striker Bent says ‘awful’ Arsenal signing has flopped; urges Maguire to leave Man Utd

Jason Soutar
Darren Bent and Michael Dawson on punditry duty

Former Premier League striker Darren Bent has urged Harry Maguire to leave Manchester United and has claimed that a big-money Arsenal signing has flopped.

Maguire is expected to depart at the end of the season having lost his place in the Red Devils’ starting XI following the summer arrival of Lisandro Martinez.

The English international could play a big part in the run-in, however, with Martinez ruled out for the season and United anxiously waiting to find out how long Raphael Varane will be out after being substituted at half-time of Thursday’s draw against Sevilla.

The 30-year-old defender will have to up his game with United vying for the Europa League, FA Cup and a place in the Premier League’s top four.

When Maguire has featured, he hasn’t been too convincing but will probably have plenty of sides interested in signing him this summer.

Signed for around £80million from Leicester City, it is safe to say Maguire has not lived up to his hefty price tag.

It has perhaps burdened him at times, while being handed the club’s captaincy has not helped with the spotlight on him more than any other United player.

Despite his disappointing Red Devils career, Maguire is not the “worst value for money signing in Premier League history”, according to Bent.

The ex-Tottenham and Aston Villa striker believes it is time for the England centre-back to move on with Leicester reportedly keen to re-sign him.

“I think (Maguire) has to go and (leave Manchester United in the summer),” Bent said. “I said in the meeting, and I thought I was being a little harsh here, about him being the worst value for money signing in Premier League history.”

Bent, who is an Arsenal fan, went on to say that there have only been two Premier League signings that have been bought for over £70m to be a success.

He singled out Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe – who is currently on loan at Nice.

The Ivorian winger was bought for £72m but like Maguire has struggled to justify his transfer fee.

When discussing big-money flops in the Premier League, Bent mentioned Pepe, Romelu Lukaku, Kai Havertz and Jadon Sancho.

“But if you look at some of the other players that have gone for a lot of money,” he added. “Transfers over £70million don’t tend to work very well.

“Lukaku didn’t work. Sancho hasn’t worked yet. Kai Havertz – Pepe, £72million, awful! Only Alisson and [Virgil] Van Dijk have been the best two.”

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