“His scoring record is phenomenal,” said McClaren. I was confident he would score goals, but he has surprised me how many.”
Since arriving at the iPro Stadium in January, Bent has made 18 Championship appearances and scored 12 goals, an incredible return in the division.
However, his arrival has coincided with the Rams struggles in the race for promotion, and although results have started to pick up for McClaren’s men again, there is the chance that they still might miss out on the play-offs.
Regardless of Derby’s finish, Bent, 31, has shown his quality in front of goal - albeit in the Championship - and it would be a surprise if he was not offered more chances under Tim Sherwood at Villa Park next term.
At his age, he does represent something of a short-term option, and Sherwood may want to look towards the future, resulting in a potential departure from Villa. However, his goal record has him as one of the most lethal forwards in the division, and many clubs will likely be in for him at the end of the campaign.
A Premier League level forward, his impact in the second tier should have come as no surprise to McClaren, and the coach will be hoping that Bent continues to fire Derby towards the Premier League.