Bent ready to hit goal trail, says Lambert
Darren Bent is ready to wreak havoc in the Premier League after recovering from the injury that kept him out for the last three months of the 2011-12 campaign, Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has said.
Lambert took over at Villa Park earlier this summer after Villa had endured a torrid campaign under Alex McLeish, finishing only narrowly clear of the relegation zone.
Striker Bent's goals had boosted Villa in the earlier part of the campaign, but they often struggled to find the target without him - and Lambert said the 28-year-old England man's importance to the side was clear.
"Darren will be huge, absolutely huge," he told Villa's official website. "He's a goalscorer. Every team needs them.
"You can't just rely on one guy to score you the goals, but his influence at the football club is huge as a result of what he has done in his football career up to now.
"He had a fabulous goalscoring record at Sunderland and, if you look at it, his goalscoring career here is phenomenal.
"For England, too, he is a threat. He would have gone to the Euros no problem if he had been fit. It is a big plus for us to have him fit."
Bent, signed by former Villa manager Gerard Houllier in a £24 million deal in 2011, hit ten goals for the club last season. As a Sunderland player, he scored 36 times in 63 games after moving to the Stadium of Light following a difficult spell at Tottenham.