Darren Bent has been discussing former Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke’s plight at Crystal Palace.
Benteke, who was linked with a January return to Villa, has failed to consistently hit the heights of his time at Villa Park.
The Belgium international scored 49 goals across 101 matches at Villa, earning a £32 million move to Liverpool in 2015.
He spent just one campaign at Anfield, though, before moving to Palace where he has managed only 23 goals in 119 matches.
He scored 17 goals in his first season at Selhurst Park but has managed only six goals since the end of the 2016-17 campaign.
Benteke has been playing with Palace’s Under-23s this season in the Premier League 2 as he looks to force his way back into Roy Hodgson’s thinking.
Benteke, whose contract at Palace runs out at the end of the season, was linked with a move to Villa in the New Year as Dean Smith ‘s side looked to bring a striker in to aid their successful fight against relegation.
However, he remained in south London hoping to nail down a place in Palace’s squad and now Bent has delivered his verdict on the former Genk striker’s situation.
“I can’t believe it, because I was with him at Aston Villa – he took my place,” he told talkSPORT.
“So when I think about it, everything was tailor-made for him.
“Every free-kick we hit was to Benteke, every goal-kick, throw-in – everything was ‘hit Benteke’
“So to see the form he’s in now and to have gone so long without a goal – I can’t quite understand it.
“Because he was brilliant at Villa – some of the finishes: chest, volley.
“Every time Villa needed a goal Benteke would come up with it and to see that Benteke there and now the one at Crystal Palace where he can’t buy a goal – I can’t understand what’s happened there.
“Confidence is massive, but the way he’s playing at the minute is like he’s got no confidence left.”