Albion sign Darren Bent on loan

Darren Bent has joined Brighton on loan. Picture by Paul Hazlewood
Darren Bent has joined Brighton on loan. Picture by Paul Hazlewood

BRIGHTON & Hove Albion have completed the signing of 30-year-old striker Darren Bent from Aston Villa on an initial month’s loan until the end of December.

London-born Bent passed a medical at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre earlier today, before training with his new team-mates ahead of Saturday’s game with Fulham.

Albion manager Sami Hyypia said: “We are delighted to welcome Darren to the club, and I hope he will score plenty of goals for us during his time with us.

“His record speaks for itself. He is a top-class striker with more than 100 Premier League goals with Charlton, Spurs, Sunderland and Aston Villa.

“Three years ago he was a regular in the England squad under Fabio Capello; there is no doubting his ability to score goals.

“He also wants to play regular games and that is evident in his willingness to step down from the Premier League to the Championship.”

Bent began his career with Ipswich Town, where he caught the eye with a string of stellar performances and 55 goals for the Suffolk club.

That won him recognition at England under-21 level, where he vied with Bobby Zamora for one of the starting spots in the team, and prompted Charlton to pay £2.5m for his services June 2005.

He scored 37 goals in 79 games for the Addicks, before a £16.5m move to White Hart Lane in 2007 – he made 43 starts and 36 appearances from the bench for Spurs, scoring 25 goals for the club.

Sunderland paid £10m for Bent in August 2009, and he smashed an astonishing 36 goals in 63 games for the Black Cats, which led to Aston Villa parting with a club-record fee to sign him – which was announced as £18m, with the potential to rise to £24m.

Bent spent last season on loan at Fulham scoring six times from 14 starts (plus 15 substitute appearances) – before returning to Villa Park at the end of last season.

Overall he has made 53 starts, 19 appearances off the bench and hit 25 goals for Villa since his move in January, 2011 – including seven sub appearances this season in the Premier League, the most recent in Monday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton.

Bent will wear squad number 39.