Darren Bent says that West Brom have been dealt a “massive blow” after seeing Matheus Pereira pick up a three-game suspension.

The former Aston Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the 23-year-old has been a huge player for Slaven Bilic and losing him for any length of time would be a sucker punch.

West Brom confirmed in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that they had accepted the charge of violent conduct against the winger, meaning he is now suspended for the next three games.

Bent says that it was a “moment of madness” from the Brazilian attacker to elbow Joe Allen in the defeat to Stoke City and says he always knew a ban was on its way.

Bent told Football Insider: “For as well as he’s been doing, it’s a massive blow. 

“At the time when I saw it, I thought: ‘What’s happened there?’ and then they slowed down the replay and you see how much he’s giving him the elbow, that was always coming.

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“Just a moment of madness, it wasn’t even like they were scoring a goal or anything.” 

Pereira has been one of Bilic’s standout performers this season, offering a constant threat in attack with five goals and 14 assists under his belt so far.

The upcoming visit to Cardiff City will be just the second league game he has missed for the Baggies since joining the club, with 26 Championship appearances to his name.

In other West Brom news, Kevin Phillips admits he was baffled by a “strange” decision in the defeat to Stoke.