Player Profile: David Bentley
Full Name: David Michael Bentley
Date of Birth: 27th August 1984, Peterborough
Squad Number: 11
Internationals: Capped at U21 level for England
Signed: August 2005 (loan), January 2006 (permanently)
Previous Clubs: Arsenal, Norwich City (loan)
David Bentley started his career with Arsenal in 2002 as a forward although he could also be used just behind a front pairing, or loan striker drawing comparisons with the Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp.
Bentley captained the England under-18 side, and made the step up to under-21 level but first team football was hard for Bentley to come across with Arsenal. After making his first team debut as a substitute in 2003 in the FA Cup he went on to feature only twice for the Gunners in the League, but several times in the League Cup scoring a memorable goal which only aided to him being likened to Bergkamp.
In search of first team football he went out on a season long loan to Norwich City for the 2004-2005 season. He featured prominently up until January 2005 before injury looked to have ended his season. He remained at Carrow Road however and returned to first team action in April and despite some fine form he would be unable to save Norwich from relegation from the Premiership and returned to Arsenal at the seasons end.
With Bentley highly thought of at Arsenal Arsene Wenger wanted to keep the talented youngster but following his transfer request in the summer of 2005 the club seemed powerless to keep him. Despite wishing to leave on a permanent basis this time and not on a loan move, after being linked to several clubs Mark Hughes finally won the race to capture Bentley, gaining him once again on a season long loan on transfer deadline day in August 2005; maybe Arsenal could keep him after all…
A successful five month loan spell was made permanent on transfer deadline day in January 2006, as he signed a contract to remain at Ewood Park for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £3 million plus.
Having made his move to Rovers permanent he celebrated this by scoring a hat trick in his first game as a full time Rovers player against Manchester United in the 4-3 win, making him the first person in fourteen years to score a hat trick against United in the League, the first ever in the Premiership.
Brought to the club as a forward or attacking midfielder he has been successfully converted to a right-winger during his time with Rovers, to great aplomb during the early months of the 2006-2007 season, with him being once again touted as a future England International with his early promise being realised.
Blackburn Rovers appearances and goals up to the start of the 2006-2007 Season
League: 29 (6 as sub) - 3 goals
FA Cup: 1 - 1 goal
League Cup: 5 - 1 goal
Other (European etc.): 0
TOTAL: 35 - 5 goals
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