Aston Villa loanee Darren Bent vows to prove worth to Paul Lambert at Brighton

Darren Bent

Having joined Brighton & Hove Albion on a month-long loan, Aston Villa striker Darren Bent hopes dropping down to the Championship will help get his career back on track.

Darren Bent has vowed to prove his worth to Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert during his month-long loan stint at Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion.

Bent, 30, has joined the Seagulls until December 29 and could feature in up to six games during his time on the south coast, where he hopes to rediscover his scoring touch after several barren seasons.

"Over the years I have managed to pick up a knack of scoring goals and work hard on my finishing in training day in and day out,” he told the club’s official website.

"I have always managed to score when I have played regularly and hopefully this spell at Brighton won't be any different.

"I love scoring goals and I still feel like the same 11-year-old boy who, when he puts the ball in the net, it is the best feeling in the world. I am sure that will never change."

Bent, 30, is in the final season of his contract at Villa Park, and has continued to find first-team opportunities sparse under manager Paul Lambert.

The former England international spent last season on loan at Fulham, where he scored just six times in 30 total appearances, and is still to start a Premier League match this term, making seven brief cameos for a total of 83 minutes.

With a record of 15 goals in 69 league games since the start of the 2011-12 campaign, his form has been in stark contrast to that which once made him one of the top-flight’s most coveted marksman, but the striker believes that a change of environment could make all the difference.

“Anyone who has known me for a long time knows all I care about is football,” he said.

"It has never been about the money or anything like that. It has always been about playing.

"I wasn't getting a lot of game time at Villa and it does not bother me I have had to drop down a division to play.

"I have seen Brighton and they play just like a Premier League team. They play good football and that is why I have come here."

Brighton currently sit 20th in the table, with 18 points from 18 games, and boss Sami Hyypia believes Bent’s introduction could prove the start of a surge up the table.

"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,” the ex-Liverpool defender said.

"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."

Joining fellow Villa loanees Gary Gardner and Joe Bennett at the Falmer Stadium, Bent’s first game for Brighton could come on Saturday afternoon against former club Fulham.

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