New England Soccer Today

Bentley Would Be Good Fit

Should the Revs seek to acquire David Bentley on loan? (Photo Credit: Sean Donahue/New England Soccer Today)

Tottenham winger David Bentley is looking to join Major League Soccer on loan and the New England Revolution would be wise to try to get him.

The 27-year-old English midfielder, who once garnered comparisons to David Beckham, could be a perfect short-term fit for the Revolution despite his recent struggles to regain form.

With the Revs youth and inconsistency on the wings, particularly on the left, signing Bentley, who can play on both wings, on loan for the season would seem an easy decision, but even a short term loan through the summer could make sense if that’s what the winger seeks.  Though Kenny Mansally, Ryan Guy and Kelyn Rowe can fill-in on the left, the Revs only natural left midfielder, Chris Tierney, appears to set to occupy the left back spot for the time being pending any new additions.

Bentley’s best season came in 2007/2008 for Blackburn Rovers, where he tallied six goals and 11 assists in 37 Premier League starts, earning a move to Spurs for nearly $24 million. After initially featuring heavily for Tottenham, a combination of injuries, a drop in form and the emergence of Gareth Bale at left mid have left the winger without a spot in the first team.

But while Bentley hasn’t been able to force his way back into the line-up at Tottenham, a team currently sitting in third place in the Premier League, he could be a perfect fit for a Revolution squad that hasn’t gotten double-digit assists from a midfielder since Steve Ralston in 2007. At left midfield, in particular, the Revs have essentially failed to find a consistent solution since Brian Kamler’s departure after the 2004 season.

Perhaps just as important as the role Bentley would fill on the field is what his temporary addition could mean to the rest of the squad.

Presently it seems likely rookie Kelyn Rowe is set to start on the left.While Rowe clearly has no shortage of offensive talent, the 20-year-old appears more comfortable in the center, as evidenced by his constant cuts into the middle. The midfielder will need time to adjust to the positioning needed both offensively and defensively on the left, if that’s where head coach Jay Heaps wants to play him over the long term.

Adding Bentley would not only take the pressure off the rookie, but it would also give Rowe an experienced veteran winger to learn his trade from. Bentley’s addition could also prove beneficial to the growth of Sainey Nyassi, Kenny Mansally, Ryan Guy, Zak Boggs, Ryan Kinne and even Tierney.

A full season loan would be ideal, but a loan through the summer could still prove valuable. Such a short term loan, allowing Bentley to return at the start of the Premier League, would allow Rowe to ease into the position and then take over full time in the fall.

Of course Bentley’s hopes to join MLS hardly guarantees he’d come to the Revs should they be interested. The San Jose Earthquakes, through its partnership with Tottenham, currently have Spurs forward Simon Dawkins on loan and would likely be given preference for Bentley. Should the ‘Quakes pass, however, the Revs would be wise to consider making a move to acquire the veteran midfielder.


  1. Jim

    February 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    This would absolutely be a great addition. I just hope there wouldn’t be crippling loan fees associated with the deal – as the revs would no doubt pass. I doubt anyone in the league would pass at the chance of acquiring him though, too bad.

    Is there any news on Jeremiah White? I have to think that with his speed and experience and (most likely?) low cap hit that he’d be a great target

    • Sean Donahue

      February 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      I’d be shocked if there was a loan fee in this case, since Bentley isn’t in Tottenham’s first team currently and I’d imagine the team shares Bentley’s view of needing minutes. I’d imagine the issue would be how much wage contribution they want from MLS.

  2. Abram Chamberlain

    February 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I always get confused with MLS loans, but wouldn’t Bentley’s salary make him a DP? Also, I know Bentley’s been talking about MLS as almost a rehab situation. How injured is he? How effective could he be? MLS typically has an adjustment period for players, would it be a one-year loan? That would seem a bit useless with the learning curve. Granted the whole thing is hypothetical, and despite everything it could still be a very exciting loan.

    • Sean Donahue

      February 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      Good questions. I’d have to imagine whatever his full salary is would make him a DP. However, my guess is it depends on how much of the player’s salary the team he is loaned to is paying. For example Simon Dawkins, according to the MLS Players Union, is making 60k. I tend doubt that’s what his contract with Tottenham is for, but rather what San Jose is contributing. I’d imagine that’d be the case with Bentley. Again, this is all speculation on my part.

      I’d think based on Tottenham including him in their 25-man squad to finish the season and his agent’s comments that he’s nearly recovered from his injury. I think it’s also safe to assume it’s at most a one year loan, though I wouldn’t think a 27 year old English-speaker in the Premier League would need that much of an adjustment period for MLS.

  3. Joseph Fitzpatrick

    February 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    He makes more in a week than 75% of the league do in a year. Spurs would have to willing to pay all but $2,000-3,000 a week of it for the Revs to even be in the ballpark. Also Dawkins in back in London just FYI. I believe he was an unused substitute this morning in the game at Stevenage.

    • Sean Donahue

      February 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      I’d imagine that would have to be the case for just about any team to take him in MLS. I also don’t see that as that unlikely if the team wants to get him back into form by getting games under his belt.

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