The centre-forward arrived from Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2007 for a club-record £16.5m and with the reputation of being a clinical goalscorer. But, when he departed for Sunderland two years later, he did so with a no more than respectable return of 25 goals in 79 appearances.
But, having said that, it's worth remembering that he did end the 2008-09 campaign with more goals (17) to his name than any other Spurs player, two of which were scored during Tottenham's visit to Manchester City seven years ago today.
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The North Londoners made the trip revitalised under the management of Harry Redknapp following his appointment a fortnight earlier, while in contrast hosting City were faltering with Mark Hughes at the helm.
However, it seemed that form counted for little when the Citizens broke the deadlock with their first meaningful attack in the 15th minute. Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes managed to turn away Darius Vassell's effort from the right side of the penalty area, but his fellow Brazilian Robinho was on hand to fire in the rebound.
City were now in command, but the tide changed in the 26th minute when they were reduced to 10 men. Already on a booking for unsporting behaviour earlier in the contest, midfielder Gelson Fernandes was sent for an early bath following the foul that he committed on Spurs winger David Bentley.
Then, within three minutes of Fernandes's dismissal, Bent restored parity. The England frontman capitalised on an error from City centre-back Richard Dunne to race clear and slot his 10th goal of the season beyond the reach of Joe Hart.
To City's credit they defended stoutly during the second half, but their resistance was finally broken in the 65th minute as Bent netted the winning goal. Jermaine Jenas played in the number 10, who expertly guided his shot inside the far post.
That was not the end of the drama, though, as City ended the contest with nine players after Dunne hacked down a hat-trick hunting Bent, while Spurs also saw left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto red carded for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta.
Nevertheless, it did little to deter Redknapp's men, who held on to record their first away victory in the Premier League of the season.
Speaking after the final whistle, Redknapp said: "It's been a fantastic couple of weeks for us. Today was a big game for us and I thought we started the game well and suddenly found ourselves 1-0 down but we got back in and started playing. It was a funny old day with the three sendings off."
Hughes added: "We started very brightly but losing Gelson made it very difficult for us. I'm not sure he's made any contact and the referee needs to take into consideration the conditions. I thought the players showed fantastic character and we really forced the issue and Spurs were hanging on at the end."
Man City: Hart; Zabaleta, Richards, Dunne, Garrido; Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Fernandes; Vassell (Hamann), Robinho, Mwaruwari
Spurs: Gomes; Corluka, Woodgate, King, Assou-Ekotto; Bentley, Huddlestone, Zokora, Jenas, Modric (Lennon); Bent