Bentley gambles on Spurs but loses shirt

David Bentley has made no secret of his desire to emulate the career of his hero David Beckham and while Tottenham Hotspur's new £17m winger may have the matching "DB" initials, he has not secured the trademark No 7 shirt. Having requested the number when he arrived at Spurs on Wednesday, he was told that Aaron Lennon, his rival for the right-wing position, had bagged it a couple of days earlier.

Bentley, who was presented as a Spurs player yesterday, has cultivated his public image as carefully as Beckham, and the No 7 shirt at Spurs was intended to be part of the package. He was dismayed to learn that Lennon was given the number, previously worn by full-back Paul Stalteri, by manager Juande Ramos over the weekend and wore it in the friendly against Leyton Orient on Wednesday. Bentley has agreed to settle for No 5.

It was first round to the kid from Leeds, who is a direct competitor with Bentley for a place at Spurs and in the England team where both have aspirations of succeeding Beckham. In the last two seasons injury has meant Lennon has struggled to recapture the form he showed before and during the 2006 World Cup, although he has shone for Spurs in pre-season so far. Lennon should start in the friendly game in the Netherlands this evening against Celtic.

While Bentley, 23, played on his Tottenham roots at his introduction as a Spurs player yesterday, the club were giving their clearest affirmation yet that transfer target Andrei Arshavin wants to leave Zenit St Petersburg. The Russia international was outspoken in an interview in which he outlined his desire to play abroad and his distrust of Russian coaches. Spurs are not nearly as close to sealing a deal for the £20m-plus 27-year-old, who said that he would "gladly" join Arsenal or Chelsea but did not mention their less celebrated London neighbour.

"I want to leave Zenit," Arshavin told Newsweek magazine. "I raised this question even before Euro 2008. My only wish is to play in a stronger club. If Zenit agrees with Chelsea or Arsenal, I will gladly join either of them. The failure of the transfer to Barcelona has upset me but I am trying to be philosophical.

"I am perfectly aware of Zenit's position: the offer [£12m] was really too small. It is strange that my good playing at Euro 2008 should have hurt my chances: my price jumped and my dream will perhaps remain a dream.

"I don't care who I work with at Zenit as long as he is not a Russian coach, who wouldn't have a chance here anyway," he added. "All this: 'Where have you been?', 'Why didn't you tell me in advance?' This army monotony: routine, lights out, reveille – Zenit wouldn't stand all that rubbish. We are a different kind of team, more democratic and modern."

Arshavin is not only being offered at a prohibitive transfer price by Zenit but Spurs have found it difficult to find out exactly who they should be dealing with to secure the player. There have been similar problems with another target, Roman Pavlyuchenko at Spartak Moscow. Tottenham hope that the immediacy of the transfer deadline this month will bring some clarity and both Russian clubs to the table.

In the meantime, Bentley, who came through Arsenal's youth system to make nine appearances for the first team, was busy playing down his connections with his former club. As his father was in the RAF, he moved around as a child but eventually settled in the Spurs-supporting London hinterland of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. "This means the world to me, because Spurs were the first club I used to watch as a kid," Bentley said. "Gazza was my favourite player when I was growing up. The first shirt I ever got was a Tottenham one with his name on the back.

"Some of my mates are Tottenham fans and season ticket-holders, and they've all got Tottenham tattoos. They always used to say – 'You've got to come to Tottenham', and I would say 'I want to but they don't want me'. As soon as I knew they [Tottenham] were interested in me, there was nowhere else I wanted to go. I grew up through the Arsenal youth team but it's not a problem for me, all my heart is at Tottenham."

Premier moves: The summer's big deals

Robbie Keane (Tottenham) to Liverpool £20.3m

David Bentley (Blackburn) to Tottenham £17m

Jose Bosingwa (Porto) to Chelsea £16.2m

Sulley Muntari (Portsmouth) to Internazionale £12.7m

Alexander Hleb (Arsenal) to Barcelona £11.8

Peter Crouch (Liverpool) to Portsmouth £9m

Dave Kitson (Reading) to Stoke £5.5m

Valon Behrami (Lazio) to West Ham £5m

Steve Sidwell (Chelsea) to Aston Villa £5m

Patrice Muamba (Birmingham) to Bolton £5m

Giovani dos Santos (Barcelona) to Tottenham £4.7m

John Arne Riise (Liverpool) to Roma £4m

Didier Digard (Paris St-Germain) to Middlesbrough £4m

Paul Robinson (Tottenham) to Blackburn £3.5m

Lee Cattermole (Middlesbrough) to Wigan £3.5m

Scott Carson (Liverpool) to West Bromwich £3.25m

Marvin Emnes (Sparta Rotterdam) to Middlesbrough £3.2m

Luke Moore (Aston Villa) to West Bromwich £3m

Seyi Olofinjana (Wolves) to Stoke City £3m

David Rozehnal (Newcastle) to Lazio £2.9m

Olivier Kapo (Birmingham) to Wigan £2.5m

Roman Bednar (Hearts) to West Bromwich £2.3m

News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003