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Blackburn Rovers Blog: Bentley’s fall is a lesson for Samba
AS far as chilling warnings go, Chris Samba did not need to look far this week.
“David Bentley will look to reignite his faltering career by joining ambitious League One outfit MK Dons until the end of the season,” a national newspaper article read.
The same David Bentley, of course, who joined Tottenham for an initial fee of £15m only three-and-a-half years ago after deciding it was time to leave Blackburn Rovers.
It now seems that Bentley is more likely to make a loan move to the MLS than join MK Dons, but just the link itself spoke volumes about how far the 27-year-old has fallen.
Bentley’s decline has proved beyond doubt that there can be no guarantee that leaving Ewood Park will lead to greater things.
Samba should take note. However soon he returns to first-team action in the weeks to come, it seems likely that the Rovers defender will push for a move once more in the summer.
His case is perhaps a little more understandable than that of Bentley.
Samba will currently fear that Rovers may not be playing Premier League football next season and is unhappy about the direction events have taken since he signed his new deal last year.
There are clear reasons for his desire to leave – even if the way he has gone about it has been disruptive to Rovers’ survival chances.
But Samba would do well not to assume that leaving Rovers will definitely lead to success.
He is a good player, but other good players have left Rovers and struggled.
Bentley was an England player during his Blackburn days, but a loss of form and then injuries have seen him make only 21 Premier League starts in the last two-and-a-half seasons – nine of those coming on loan at relegation bound Birmingham.
Roque Santa Cruz ended up on Manchester City’s bench before returning to Ewood on loan as a shadow of his former self, while Benni McCarthy’s move to West Ham was a disaster.
He is now back in his native South Africa with Orlando Pirates.
There have been some who have gone on to do well – Brad Friedel being one – but those who leave Rovers do so at their own risk.
A move away would almost certainly boost the bank balance.
Whether it boosts the career could be an altogether different matter.