Jan 18 11 8:09 PM

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Great signing :jump:

Bent and GH talk to press

TalkSport interview


Darren Bent has immediately set his sights on scoring the goals to shoot Villa up the top-flight table.

Bent admits his primary aim is helping the team in their quest for points and an escape from the lower reaches of the Barclays Premier League.

He is confident he can find the net in claret and blue - especially given the quality level of service provided by the likes of Stewart Downing and Ashley Young.

He said: "Hopefully I can fit the bill - that's what Villa have paid the money for.

"If I can get a run in the side - and that won't be easy because there's some quality players here - I can take the chances. I am really looking forward to it.

"I found out the stat earlier about Wayne and Didier being the only players who have scored more top-flight goals than me since August 2005. I am happy with that. I am over the moon with it to be honest and hopefully they'll be plenty more from me here.

"Villa do create chances because there's some top wide players. The service with Ash and Stewie is fantastic - the main thing for me now is to finish them off and help Villa get some points on the board.

"You've got to be confident in your own ability. That's something I've got. If we can create the chances I am more than happy to finish them off.

"It's a fact that Villa always seem to create a lot of chances and with me being a forward that's what you thrive on. Hopefully I can put away plenty of them."

Obviously Bent sees the long-term project at Villa one of the primary reasons for his switch from Sunderland - but the striker realises the number one aim at present is moving the club up the table.

He added: "First and foremost the aim is to move up the Barclays Premier League. Villa are underachieving at the moment. We have some top, top players so to be where we are is a bit strange but pushing Villa up the table is my number one goal.

"If I can get a few goals along the way I'll be more than happy.

"The table is so congested. If you can get a couple of wins under your belt you're suddenly in the top half comfortably so it's a funny league this season. It's the most exciting league in the world, no doubt.

"I know where Villa are in the league at the moment but it's false because they are better than that. I want to show people that's the case.

"Villa finished sixth over the past three seasons and you don't do that in the Barclays Premier League if you're not a top, top side. That's what Villa are."


Gerard Houllier expects Darren Bent to be a "tremendous asset" for Villa - and says the signing sends out a "clear message about the ambition of the club."

Houllier insists Bent has the class, pedigree and goalscoring prowess to make a major impact in claret and blue.

Boss Houllier is also thrilled to get a star striker in the "prime of his life".

He said: "It's a great pleasure to welcome Darren to Aston Villa.

"Darren is the club's new record signing and we are absolutely delighted to have him here because we know he will be a tremendous asset for the months and the years ahead.

"His arrival sends out a clear message about the ambition of our football club.

"We bought Darren here to spearhead our efforts and help to build something strong and lasting at our club.

"Darren's arrival is a key element of our football strategy and philosophy which the chairman and chief executive and I have discussed since my appointment as manager.

"So this is what we want to do and try to implement. We know it will take time. In conjunction with this, the chairman's priorities have always been to maintain a manageable wage bill and this underscores all our current moves and plans for the future.

"There are not many young English players who have the pedigree and finishing class that Darren has shown over a number of years in the Premier League.

"I think only Wayne Rooney and Didier Drogba have scored more top-flight goals over the past five years. He has scored 81 goals and they have scored 82. This is a reflection of the player's class, pedigree in terms of goalscoring and reflection of his eye for goal."

The manager hailed the capture as a great day for Villa supporters and believes the fab forward will be a tremendous long-term asset.

He added: "This is a great day for our fans and a major milestone for Aston Villa too.

"Darren is just 26 and he's entering the prime of his life. He fits the bill in terms of what we want to achieve, long-term.

"Now, of course, our immediate focus is to get out of the immediate situation we find ourselves in. Darren will contribute to that.

"But at the same time, he is here for the long-term. His contract is four and a half years. He is not here for just a few months.

"We trust him as a player and his presence here shows he trusts the club. This is very important. This is why he has come to our football club and we are very happy with that.

"We have got good players - a good squad - and he will add to that."

Aston Villa are delighted to confirm that Darren Bent will be unveiled today as the club's record signing, having agreed a four-and-a-half year deal to June 2015.

The 26-year-old England striker completed a ...medical before the formalities... of the signing today and will be available for the Barclays Premier League game against Manchester City on Saturday, January 22 at Villa Park.

"Aston Villa is a massive football club and as soon as I knew they were interested in signing me I wanted to join," Bent said.

"The size of the football club and the history of the club are major reasons for me coming here.

"There are some top, top players here too, real quality, and I've been able to speak to the manager and the chairman about their ambitions for the club, so I'm very excited about being a part of what we hope to achieve."


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