Ciaran Clark insists Aston Villa striker Darren Bent should not be written off after he returned to action as a substitute during Saturday's 0-0 draw with Stoke.
Bent has lost his place to Christian Benteke in recent weeks and the situation has led to speculation that the England international will be sold in January.
However, he appeared for the first time since the end of October against Stoke and Clark believes his team-mate can still be an important player for Villa.
"Darren is deadly finisher and you know he will score goals," said Clark. "That's what the fans want to see, they want to see people scoring goals.
"I'm sure if he had half a chance he would have stuck it in the net. It was just one of those days where he didn't get a chance.
"He shouldn't be written off. Definitely. I think a lot of people have been writing him off already. It is just one of those things. He did well and all we can do is see how he does in the future."
Clark praised the professionalism of Bent while out of the side, adding: "Darren has always been the same. He has never changed and that's what you expect from Darren.
"He has just got on with things, he is a good pro and a very experienced lad. He knows what he needs to do.
"He has kept his head up and it shows he must have been working hard in training to get back into the team."