Study shows how much Darren Bent cost Aston Villa every time he touched the ball

The 31-year-old striker has left Villa Park to join Derby County, but the cost of his stay may be felt for years to come.

Darren Bent's release from Aston Villa on a free transfer may not have come as a shock to supporters who had barely seen him play this season, but his cost to the club, as tallied up by the Telegraph, since joining from Sunderland in 2011 is sure to surprise even the most ardent critics of the player's form.

The Telegraph's study shows that the £24 million transfer fee reported to bring Bent to Villa Park, as well as his wages as Villa's top earner - said to be around £65,000 a week, meant the club spent a whopping £35.8 million on the 31-year-old - not including his various loan spells, before he was released on a free transfer.

In his four and a half years at the club, the striker started just 45 league games, making 61 appearances in total. That means each game cost Villa £586,000.

Things get even more shocking when you judge how many goals and touches Bent made in comparison to his cost. Despite a promising start to his Villa career, he only netted 21 league goals, meaning each came at a price of £1.7 million. Bent's average of 21.5 touches per match meant that every time he affected play it set the club back over £27,000.

Now at Derby County, the Rams will likely get significantly better value for money for Bent than the Villans did, even if they are paying large wages for a Championship club.

Bent's proven goalscoring quality, which was demonstrated to still be present in his loan spell at Pride Park at the end of last season, could well be enough to take the Rams up under new boss Paul Clement.

But for those who okayed the former Spurs and Ipswich attacker's transfer to Villa, they'll be counting the costs for a long time yet.

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