Darren Bent says he ‘couldn’t see himself playing anywhere else’ once the possibility of joining Derby County permanently arose.

Darren Bent says he ‘couldn’t see himself playing anywhere else’ once the possibility of joining Derby County permanently arose.

The 31-year-old striker today signed a two-year contract, with the option of a further year, following a successful loan spell from Premier League Aston Villa last season.

Bent scored 12 times in 17 appearances in the second half of the last term and expressed a strong desire to join the club on a permanent basis with his contract at Villa Park coming to an end this summer.

After putting pen-to-paper, Bent, capped 13 times by England, says he is relishing the prospect of working under the management of new Head Coach Paul Clement.


He told Rams Player: “It’s nice to be back and to sign for Derby County permanently.

“This is the right move for me and I really enjoyed my spell on loan last season.

“Everyone at the club made me feel so welcome when I first arrived and that helped make the decision so easy for me.

“Once my contract was coming to an end at Aston Villa this was the only place I could see myself coming to.”

He added: “I’ve had a few discussions with Paul Clement since he took over and I am very excited about working with him.”

Derby endured a challenging end to the 2014/15 season, slipping out of the Sky Bet Championship’s top six on the final day of the season and seeing their promotion dreams end prematurely.

A 3-0 home defeat to Reading proved to be costly for the Rams as they missed out on a second successive top six finish.

As it turns out, Derby’s disappointing end to the campaign made Bent hungrier to return - with his main desire to help fire the club to the Premier League. 

He said: “The end to last season was disappointing but if anything it made me hungrier to come back and try to succeed this time around.

“It was a shame how the season ended because we had put ourselves in such a good position to go up.

“To miss out on the top six was heartbreaking but I hope I can come back and help to rectify that this year.”

Bent was delighted to find the back of the net on a regular basis during his loan period.

After a spell out of the first-team frame at Aston Villa, he was pleased to get his career back on track at the iPro Stadium.

He said: “I scored quite a few goals and that was important for me.

“I’d had a difficult few years at Aston Villa so it was perfect to come here, play games and score goals.

“I also struck up a good relationship with everyone at the club.

“Speaking to the fans and people in the street I got a good feeling and it was a place I wanted to come back to.”

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