Last Five | Dan Bentley

Looking back at five years of highs and lows for the Wolves men's first-team players before the 2023/24 season, next up is the recent career of Old Gold goalkeeper Dan Bentley.


  • Brentford (33 apps | 7 clean sheets)

Having spent his previous seven seasons racking up the appearances in League One and Two for Southend United, who he represented 160 times in all competitions, as well as in the Championship with Brentford, the 2018/19 campaign was Bentley’s final at Griffin Park. The keeper started the season as a regular under Dean Smith, occasionally wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of regular skipper Romaine Sawyers, and was present as Brentford produced an impressive opening, which saw them in the top two after eight matches, with Bentley keeping two clean sheets in the wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan Athletic. A downturn in form saw Thomas Frank take over as the Bees’ head coach from the October, but Bentley remained between the sticks. However, with 12 matches of the season remaining, the then 25-year-old was dropped in favour of Luke Daniels.


  • Bristol City (45 apps | 10 clean sheets)

With his place in the Brentford team no longer confirmed, Bentley made the switch from west London to the west of England in the summer of 2019 as he signed for Bristol City on a four-year deal. Under Lee Johnson, the keeper was straight in as first choice at Ashton Gate, where he played every single minute of the opening 35 matches of the Championship season as the Robins pushed for a play-off berth. However, following a run of just one win from five outings, Niki Maenpaa took over between the sticks for a trio of matches, but after the Finn suffered an injury an hour into his fourth appearance – a 1-0 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest – Bentley was back in goal, where he featured until the end of the season. But by this time, the team had slipped down the table, where they would finish in 12th position.


  • Bristol City (45 apps | 10 clean sheets)

The 2020/21 season saw Bentley and Bristol City get off to another positive start, with the goalkeeper keeping two clean sheets in the opening four games as the Robins took 12 points from a possible 12 and moved up to first place in the Championship standings. However, a neck injury kept Bentley out of City’s fifth match – a 2-2 draw against Barnsley – which led to the side going winless in their next five. But Bentley was soon back in the side, where he remained as number one for the rest of the campaign. A run of defeats to start 2021 saw Nigel Pearson come into the club as manager during the February, and not only did he keep Bentley as his first-choice stopper, but he also handed the keeper the captain’s armband for the final match of the season against former club Brentford.


  • Bristol City (38 apps | 6 clean sheets)

Bentley begun the following season where he had left off in the previous one, as Bristol City’s captain. Now with the armband on a regular basis, the goalkeeper saw the club through an uncertain campaign under Pearson, as the team struggled to put a run of results together in the Championship, as well as falling out of the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup at the first hurdles, meaning it was a season of fighting against the drop into League One. Although Bentley missed a run of games during turn of 2022, as Max O’Leary took his place between the sticks, it didn’t take long for the then-28-year-old to be back into the side as Pearson’s number one after his counterpart suffered an injury during a 3-1 loss to Swansea City. On his return to the team, Bentley regained the captain’s armband and produced several clean sheets to ensure the side finished out of the Championship drop zone.


  • Bristol City (15 apps | 4 clean sheets)
  • Wolves (2 apps | 0 clean sheets)

Although Bentley started the 2022/23 season as Pearson’s first-choice at Ashton Gate, playing every minute of the opening 14 matches of the campaign, as well as captaining the team, following a 3-0 loss to Birmingham City, he was replaced by O’Leary once again. The loss at St Andrews was to be Bentley’s final appearance as a Robin, as he remained on the bench until a January move to Molineux. Initially brought into the side by Julen Lopetegui as back-up to Wolves’ number one Jose Sa, a dip in the Portuguese’s form towards the end of the season saw Bentley get his first chance in the Premier League having turned out across the EFL pyramid during his career. A man of the match appearance against Manchester United at Old Trafford followed as he did his best to stop the Red Devils taking all three points before helping Wolves to a draw in his home debut against Everton.

This article originally featured in Wolves' official 2023/24 matchday programme. Last season's programmes are still available to purchase online through retailers Curtis Sports