By Darren Bent

16th Jan, 2020 | 5:15pm

'He's the perfect one' - Exclusive: Bent urges Aston Villa to rescue forward amid reported talks

Darren Bent urged Dean Smith to rescue Christian Benteke from Crystal Palace as Aston Villa are the perfect club for him.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the ex-Villans striker suggested Villa could transform Benteke back to his old self as the fans would treat him like an absolute hero.

It was recently reported that the Villans have spoken to Crystal Palace about signing the powerful forward and the London club have made it clear they’d only be open to agreeing on a deal that saw him permanently exit.

Bent stated that Benteke is the perfect striker for the Villans to sign and suggested the club’s PR team could spin his return as the hero coming back to save the day.

When asked who the Villans should be mainly targetting in their striker hunt, Bent told Football Insider: “For me, it’s Benteke.

“He’s the perfect one for me because he’s had a really tough time since he left Villa at Liverpool and now Palace.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“And the fans will never forget what he did for that football club, I left before him and they still remember what I did, and he was absolutely idolised when he was there.

“So if he came in, he’d feel the love from the supporters, everyone will be talking about him, Dean Smith will say you’re my main man, go score goals and they’ll all produce chances for him.

“The problem at Palace at times, is that he gets the chances, he just can’t take them, all it takes is one at Villa, he’ll be rolling again, the fans will be singing his name.

“He’ll be going to the stadium, I know this sounds weird, but he’ll see the kids and adults walking to the stadium with Benteke on the back of the shirts and he’ll feel like an absolute hero.

“And that’s how they’ll spin it, the hero has come back to save us, and it’s the challenge as well as the football club that will be perfect for him.”

The 29-year-old has played 16 times across all competitions this season for Palace but is yet to register a goal or an assist.

Benteke previously impressed when a Villa player as he played 101 times for the club, scoring 49 goals in the process.

In other Aston Villa news, Noel Whelan says the club are preparing for the Championship with another transfer raid.