Bentley takes another step towards filling Beckham’s boots
He has the same initials and plays in the same position so David Bentley will hope that his 15million pounds transfer to Tottenham will help him dislodge David Beckham once and for all from the England team.
The 23-year-old has never seemed short of confidence and the midfielder declared that he was ready to step up “to the next level” by leaving the homely surrounds of Blackburn Rovers after just two years for a return to London’s bright lights.
Bentley, of course, began his career in the youth ranks at Arsenal, leaving the club after becoming frustrated by his lack of first-team opportunities. It is not often Arsene Wenger errs in his handling of young players but Bentley may come back to haunt the Arsenal manager if he shines for their north London neighbours.
“I grew up there but it is not a problem for me. My heart is at Tottenham now,” Bentley told reporters after signing in at an otherwise nervous White Hart Lane.
Bentley supported Spurs as a boy and said he dreamed of emulating the feats of Paul Gascoigne in the white of club and country. Being at Tottenham has never harmed a player’s England prospects in the past and Bentley is determined to grab his opportunity.
“It is entirely in my hands – it is up to me to perform,” said a player whose impressive dead-ball skills and passing range from the right have earned him six England caps already.
More than once he has been quoted as saying he is ready to replace Beckham in the England team and now is his moment to deliver. If so, it could well be Bentley and not Beckham filling the No7 shirt on England’s journey towards the World Cup in South Africa.
PHOTO: England’s Bentley (l), Beckham (c) and Walcott stand together during a soccer training session in Port of Spain, May 30. REUTERS/David Moir