After signing for an initial fee of £18m, Darren Bent was unveiled as Villa’s record signing at 7pm in a press conference at Villa Park. Here are some of the key things that the striker has had to say about his new club along with manager Gerard Houllier’s opinions upon getting his man, who incidentally will wear the number 39 shirt until the end of the season;
“Its a great pleasure for me to introduce to you and welcome Darren Bent to Aston Villa Football Club.
“Darren’s signing is sending out a clear message as a football club.
“Darren’s arrival is a key element of our football strategy and philosophy and has been discussed since my appointment as manager.
“There are not money young English player who have the pedigree and finishing class that Darren has shown over a number of years in the Premier League.
“Darren’s goalscoring record is a reflection of the players class and eye for goal.
“This is a great day for this club and a major milestone for the club going forward.
“Our immediate focus is to get out of the present situation we are in, Darren will contribute to that, but he is also here for the long haul.
“We trust him as a player and his presence here shows that he trusts us as a squad.
“Regarding his debut, he has a good habit of scoring when he starts. I don’t want to send a warning to Manchester City but hopefully if he starts, he can score!”
“I’m delighted to join Aston Villa it’s a big opportunity for me.
“I’m looking forward to getting going and hopefully if I can play part of the game against Man City.
“I believe Aston Villa’s position is false. They’ve been sixth three-seasons in a row and I want to help them get back up there
“As soon as I knew they were interested I wanted to be a part of getting them back up the table.
“I’d like to think I’ll supply the goals, they’ve got some great creativity players in the squad in Stewart Downing and Ashley Young and hopefully I can focus on my finishing and score goals here.”
“In all the clubs I’ve managed before I’ve tried to have a proven centre forward, I think his arrival is a major coup for the club.
“Stewart Downing and Ashley Young are not for sale, it’s as simple as that, they won’t be leaving.
“I think we’ve got a good squad and we’ll hopefully escape relegation and we haven’t been lucky up to now.
“We also spent 5m euro on Jean Makoun which shows the chairman is backing us. This is not a panic buy, in fact I’ve been talking about him with chairman for a long time and he was one of our priorities.
“A striker is always more expensive. He’s 26, has a proven record, and I believe in him.
“Some players will probably be leaving because they are at the end of their contracts so we have to prepare for the future.”
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