By Darren Bent

21st Jan, 2020 | 11:15am

Exclusive: Bent rips into player he was 'Excited' about after official Aston Villa statement

Darren Bent admits he was bitterly disappointed with what he saw from Jonathan Kodjia this season before his exit from Aston Villa.

The former Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that he had high hopes for the Ivory Coast international but he was a big let down in the club’s fight against relegation.

Villa confirmed on Monday that Kodjia had left the club to join Qatari outfit Al Gharafa, with the striker’s former contract at Villa Park set to expire in the summer.

Bent says that the 30-year-old impressed him in the Championship but that he was a major disappointment when given his chance in the top flight.

Bent told Football Insider: “He’s been way too inconsistent, you don’t know what you’re going to get from him. He showed how good he was in the Championship and I was excited to see how he was going to get on in the Premier League.

“It hasn’t really worked for him, I know he’s been given limited opportunities but the opportunities he’s got he hasn’t really shown enough for me. 

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“It’s a big loss for Villa because I think he was one of the fans’ favourites, they quite liked him but at the same time there’s no point being a fans’ favourite if you can’t help your team get out of relegation.

“It’s probably a good deal all round but they need to go and get somebody else.”

Kodjia leaves Villa Park after 106 games for the club, scoring 31 times across all competitions.

He found opportunities limited in the first half of this season, playing just nine times as he fell behind summer signing Wesley in the pecking order.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that north-east big hitters have set their sights on signing senior man after contract opening.