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Darren Bent

Darren Bent
Darren Bent.png
Bent in 2008
Personal information
Full nameDarren Ashley Bent[1]
Date of birth6 February 1984 (age 31)[1]
Place of birthTooting, England
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[1]
Playing positionStriker
Club information
Current team
Derby County
Youth career
–1998Godmanchester Rovers
1998–2001Ipswich Town
Senior career*
2001–2005Ipswich Town122(48)
2005–2007Charlton Athletic68(31)
2007–2009Tottenham Hotspur60(18)
2011–2015Aston Villa61(21)
2013–2014→ Fulham (loan)24(3)
2014→ Brighton & Hove Albion (loan)5(2)
2015→ Derby County (loan)15(10)
2015–Derby County1(0)
National team
England U15
2000–2001England U1610(3)
England U17
2002England U193(3)
2003–2005England U2114(9)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:56, 18 August 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:51, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Darren Ashley Bent (born 6 February 1984) is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Championship club Derby County.
Bent started his career with Ipswich Town. After progressing through their youth system he made his first team debut in 2001. He made 122 appearances and scored 48 goals in the league for Ipswich, before joining Charlton Athleticfor a fee of £2.5 million in 2005. He was Charlton Athletic's top goalscorer for two consecutive seasons and joinedTottenham Hotspur for a club record fee of £16.5 million in 2007. After two seasons at Tottenham he joinedSunderland. After a successful 18 months at Sunderland, he joined Aston Villa in 2011. Bent had loans with Fulham,Brighton & Hove Albion and Derby County and after being released by Villa in 2015 joined Derby permanently.
He has represented England at under-15, under-16under-17under-19under-21 and senior levels. He made 14 appearances and scored nine goals for the under-21 side, after making his debut against Italy in 2003. He made his debut for the senior England side in 2006 against Uruguay, and has since made 13 appearances for England, scoring four goals. He scored his first goal on 7 September 2010 in a 3–1 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match victory against Switzerland.

Personal life

Bent was born in TootingLondon[2] to a family of Jamaican descent.[3] His father, Mervyn Bent, was a player in theyouth systems of Wimbledon and Brentford.[2] He moved to Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire at the age of 10 and attended Hinchingbrooke school and played for the Godmanchester Rovers youth system.[2] As a youngster, Bent was a supporter of Arsenal, and used to have a season ticket at Highbury.[4] He was handed a formal caution by police in June 2004 after he was alleged to have shot a 12-year-old with a pellet gun.[5] Bent refrains from drinking alcohol.[6] Bent is a Christian.[7]

Club career

Ipswich Town

Bent progressed through Ipswich Town's youth system, having joined the club at the age of 14 in 1998, after considering a possible career in athletics.[8] He signed a professional contract with Ipswich on 2 July 2001.[9] He made his first team debut on 1 November 2001 in a 3–1 victory against Helsingborgs IF in the UEFA Cup, and scored his first senior goal in a 4–1 League Cup defeat to Newcastle United on 27 November 2001.[10]
He scored his first FA Premier League goal on 24 April 2002 in a 1–0 win over Middlesbrough.[10] He finished the 2001–02 season with seven appearances and two goals in all competitions, and also saw his team Ipswich face relegation into the First Division.[10] He scored the winning goal against Slovan Liberec in the UEFA Cup on 31 October 2002 and finished the 2002–03 season with 18 goals.[11] The 2003–04 season finished with Bent scoring 16 goals,[12] which was followed by 20 goals in the 2004–05 season, being the team's joint highest goalscorer with Shefki Kuqi.[13]

Charlton Athletic

Bent scoring an 86th-minute penalty kick against Wigan Athletic on 31 March 2007, which earned Charlton Athletic a 1–0 victory
He completed a transfer to Charlton Athletic on 1 June 2005, which was worth an initial fee of £2.5 million, but would have risen to £3 million if he made an agreed number of appearances for Charlton and for England.[14] After the move, he said: "I am confident that Charlton will play an important role to play in the Premiership next season. This is a very strong team and I am glad that I will be a part of it." [15] On the opening day of the 2005–06 FA Premier League season, Bent scored two goals on his Charlton debut against Sunderland,[16] and was named the Premier League player of the month for August.[17] He scored in his first four games for the club, one of only six players to perform this feat in the Premier League.[18] Bent was the highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League in the 2005–06 season, with 18 goals (22 overall) which made him third highest scorer and was given Charlton's Player of the Year award.[19][20] He signed an extension to his contract at Charlton in July, which contracted him until June 2010.[21] Bent finished the 2006–07 season with 13 goals in the Premier League, again finishing as Charlton's top goalscorer, but was unable to prevent them from being relegated into the Championship after seven successive seasons of Premier League football.[22] Charlton accepted a bid from West Ham United for him in June 2007, but Bent was not interested in a move to Upton Park.[23]

Tottenham Hotspur

He completed a move to Tottenham Hotspur for a club record fee of £16.5 million on 29 June 2007, which was to be payable over three years and is inclusive of add-on payments.[24] Ipswich were entitled to 20% of Charlton's profit on Bent under a sell-on clause, which gave the club an initial £2.58 million.[25] He scored his first goal for Tottenham in a friendly match against Stevenage Borough in their first pre-season fixture of the 2007–08 season.[26] Bent scored his first competitive goal for Tottenham in a 4–0 home victory over Derby County in August 2007.[27] This was followed up by scoring in the 6–1 win over Anorthosis Famagusta in the first round of the UEFA Cup on 20 September 2007.[28] Bent scored his 100th career goal on 9 March 2008 in the added time of a 4–0 league win over West Ham United.[29] He also scored the 100th goal to be scored at White Hart Lane during the 2007–08 season on 22 March in a 2–0 win over Portsmouth.[30] Bent went on to score one more goal that season, against Newcastle United, which he finished with 36 appearances and 8 goals.[31]

Bent playing forTottenham Hotspur in a pre-season friendly against Norwich Cityon 28 July 2008, during which he scored four goals in a 5–1 victory
He scored 12 goals for Tottenham during the 2008–09 pre-season.[32] His first league goal of the season came against Chelsea, which gave his side a 1–1 draw.[33] He scored a header in the second half of Tottenham's UEFA Cup first round game against Wisła Kraków, giving the team a 2–1 victory.[34]On 6 November, in a game against Dinamo Zagreb, Bent scored his first competitive hat-trick for Tottenham.[35] He followed this up with two goals in a 2–1 victory against Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium.[36]
A miss in front of an open goal in the final minutes during a home game against Portsmouth in January 2009, which cost Tottenham two points, promptedmanager Harry Redknapp to claim "You will never get a better chance to win a match than that. My missus could have scored that one".[37] On 31 January he scored two goals in the period of two minutes against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium after coming on as a second-half substitute, in a match that eventually finished as a 3–2 defeat.[38] Following the return of Robbie Keane at Tottenham, Redknapp assured Bent of his future at the club.[39] He finished the season as Tottenham's top goalscorer with 17 goals in 43 games.[40]


Sunderland opened negotiations to sign Bent in July 2009.[41] The deal seemed delayed and through social networking website Twitter he accused chairman Daniel Levy of disrupting his move to Sunderland, although Bent later apologised, saying he acted out of frustration.[42] He travelled to Sunderland to sign for the club after they agreed a fee with Tottenham, and after passing a medical, Bent signed for Sunderland on 5 August for an initial fee of £10 million plus potential additional payments, which later rose to £16.5 million.[43] He scored on his Sunderland debut, which was the only goal in a 1–0 victory against Bolton,[44] and was followed with Sunderland's opening goal against Chelsea in a 3–1 defeat.[45] He scored a brace in the 4–1 win over Hull City to give himself his third and fourth goals in five games.[46]
Bent scored Sunderland's only goal against Burnley at Turf Moor, making the score 1–1, before losing 3–1.[47] He scored again in a 5–2 win againstWolverhampton Wanderers,[48] although after the game Sunderland manager Steve Bruce was left angry at Bent's decision to give Sunderland's secondpenalty kick to teammate Kenwyne Jones, after the latter "pleaded" with Bent to take the penalty so that he could get on the score sheet.[49] Bent then scored the opening goal in a 2–2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.[50] He also scored in a 1–0 victory against Liverpool on 17 October 2009 when his shot hit a beach ball thrown onto the field by a Liverpool fan and past confused goalkeeper Pepe Reina into the net.[51] Bent also scored in Sunderland's victory 1–0 over Arsenal on 21 November 2009 when his initial header rebounded back to him off Fraizer Campbell.[52] Bent scored his first hat-trick for Sunderland in a 4–0 victory over Bolton on 9 March 2010.[53] He scored two goals, one a penalty, but missed two other penalties as they were saved by Heurelho Gomes in a 3–1 victory against former club Tottenham on 3 April.[54] He finished the season with 25 goals in 40 appearances in all competitions,[55] 24 of which came in the Premier League, amounting to 50% of Sunderland's 48 goals in the league that season.[56]
Bent made his first appearance of the 2010–11 season in the opening game, a 2–2 draw with Birmingham City on 14 August and opened the scoring with a penalty in the 24th minute.[57] He scored the winning goal with stoppage time penalty as Sunderland beat Manchester City 1–0 on 29 August.[58] Bent scored the equaliser during stoppage time to earn Sunderland a 1–1 draw against Arsenal on 18 September.[59] He then scored twice in Sunderland's 2–2 draw at Liverpool.[60]

Aston Villa

Bent playing in Aston Villa's 2–1 victory at Arsenal on 15 May 2011, in which he scored both Villa goals
On 17 January 2011, Bent submitted a transfer request, amid reports that Aston Villa had made a club record £18 million bid for him, which was rejected.[61] Villa then submitted an improved offer of £18 million, potentially rising to £24 million, which was then accepted.[62] The following day, Bent completed his move to Villa and signed a four-and-a-half-year deal.[63] He scored the winning goal on his debut against Manchester City in a 1–0 victory at Villa Park.[64] Bent scored his second Villa goal in his third appearance for his side when he completed the full 90 minutes against Manchester United at Old Trafford in a 3–1 away defeat.[65] Bent scored both of Villa's goals in their 2–1 away victory over Arsenal in the penultimate game of the season on 15 May. The first was a nicely crafted volley after he chested down a Kyle Walker chipped pass, with the second coming a few minutes later after a slip from Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen allowed Ashley Young the time to thread a pass through the Gunners' defence and Bent to sidefoot home for 2–0.[66] He finished the season with 9 goals in 16 Premier League appearances for Villa, becoming the club's joint top-scorer with Young, despite only joining in January.[67] He was also the top English goalscorer in the Premier League and the fourth highest scorer overall that season with 17 goals in total, eight of which were scored for Sunderland.[68]

2011–12 season

In his first full season with Villa, Bent scored his first goal of the season against Blackburn Rovers in a 3–1 victory on 20 August 2011.[69] In his first match against former club Sunderland, a 2–2 draw at the Stadium of Light on 29 October 2011, every time he received a touch on the ball he was booed by the home support.[70] Bent then suffered an injury during the match against Bolton Wanderers and was out for the next few matches as a result.[71] Bent caused controversy when a fan posted a picture and claimed the striker was out shopping while his teammates were losing 2–0 to Liverpool. It was later revealed Bent had been sent home to recover from his injury and afterwards he apologised to the Villa fans for his actions.[72] After apologising, manager Alex McLeish reacted angrily to the "conspiracy theory" over Bent's absence for Villa.[73] This led to Bent having to deny a fall-out with McLeish.[74] Bent made his return as a 78th-minute substitute in the match against Chelsea on 31 December 2011, scoring the third goal to seal a 3–1 win at Stamford Bridge.[75] After not scoring in the next two matches, Bent went on a run by scoring in the next four matches for Villa, including his first FA Cup goal in a Villa shirt on 29 January 2012, against Arsenal in an eventual 3–2 defeat.[76]Three days later, Bent scored his 100th Premier League goal as Villa came from behind to earn a 2–2 home draw against Queens Park Rangers.[77] He was the 21st player to reach the milestone.[78]
On 25 February 2012, in a match against Wigan Athletic, Bent landed awkwardly on his ankle after tangling with Antolín Alcaraz.[79] He was stretchered off the pitch with what was thought to be a serious injury.[79] This was later confirmed two days later, after Bent had a scan on his ankle that revealed he had ruptured ligaments. He was out for three months which effectively ended his season with Villa and most likely his chance to play at UEFA Euro 2012.[80] Bent had recovered from his injury by mid-May and was in contention for Villa's final game of the 2011–12 season against Norwich City but was ultimately left out. This also gave him the possibility of making new England manager Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad.[81] Bent vowed to prove his fitness to Hodgson, in the hope that he would be selected to play in the tournament.[82] Bent once again finished as Villa's top scorer with 10 goals in 25 appearances and vowed to stay on at the club.[83][84]

2012–13 season

In July 2012, Bent was named interim captain of Aston Villa while Stiliyan Petrov continued to recover from leukaemia.[85] On 28 August, he scored his first goal of the 2012–13 season in a 3–0 victory over League One Tranmere Rovers in the second round of the League Cup, his first goal for Villa since February 2012.[86] Bent lost the Villa captaincy toRon Vlaar, after the Dutchman was appointed captain for the 2–0 victory against Swansea City on 15 September 2012 and thereafter.[87] He scored his first league goal of the season on 22 September, in a 4–1 defeat away to Southampton.[88] Bent then lost his starting place for the next league game against West Bromwich Albion, after the performances of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke during the midweek League Cup victory over Manchester City saw the pair start up front.[89][90] However, after coming on for Benteke as a 68th-minute substitute, Bent followed up his goal against Southampton by grabbing the equaliser in a 1–1 draw.[89]

Loan to Fulham (2013–14)[edit]

Bent joined Villa's Premier League rivals Fulham on a season-long loan on 16 August 2013.[91] Bent scored his first goal for Fulham on 24 August 2013 on his debut, 18 minutes after replacing Damien Duff in a 3–1 defeat at home to London rivals Arsenal.[92] On 24 September, only three minutes after coming on for Adel Taarabt, he scored the winner in a 2–1 home win over Everton in the third round of the League Cup.[93] Again as a late substitute, this time for Dimitar Berbatov, he scored the only goal in Fulham's home league win over Stoke City on 5 October, taking control of Pajtim Kasami's shot and cutting past Robert Huth.[94]
Despite scoring in the first game[95] and replay[96] against Norwich City in the third round of the FA Cup, Bent went 13 league games without scoring before an added-time equaliser at Old Trafford to gain a 2–2 draw against Manchester United on 9 February after replacing Muamer Tanković at half time.[97] He finished his loan with six goals from 30 games, and Fulham were relegated into the Championship.[98]

2014–15 season

After returning from Fulham, Bent was reintegrated into the Villa first team for the 2014–15 season. In the first match since his return Bent scored two goals in a 3–1 pre-season victory over Mansfield Town.[99]
On 26 November 2014, Bent joined Brighton & Hove Albion on a one-month loan.[100] Three days later he scored on his debut for the Championship club, opening a 1–2 defeat to his former employers Fulham at Falmer Stadium.[101]

Derby County

After two goals in five games for Brighton, Bent was loaned to another Championship side, Derby County, on 2 January 2015. He was signed by his former international managerSteve McClaren on a deal lasting until the end of the season.[102] With his fourth goal in five games, he equalised in a 2–2 draw away to then league leaders Bournemouth on 10 February.[103] Bent scored 12 goals from 17 appearances as Derby finished in eighth place in the Championship table, missing out on a play-off place by one point.[104][105] He was released by Villa on 8 June 2015,[106] ahead of a permanent transfer to Derby on a two-year contract, with a one-year option.[107]

International career

Bent has represented England at under-15, under-16under-17under-19under-21 and senior levels.[9] He made his under-16 debut against Finland on 31 July 2000, making 10 appearances and scoring three goals for the team, with his last appearance coming against Finland on 27 February 2001.[108] His debut for the under-19 team came against Germany on 14 February 2002, scoring two goals in a 3–1 victory, and his third and final appearance was against Lithuania on 21 April.[109] His first appearance for the under-21 team came against Italy on 11 February 2003, which England lost 1–0.[110][111] He made 14 appearances and scored nine goals for the under-21 team,[112][113] with his final appearance coming against France on 15 November 2005.[114] He received his first call up to the senior England team for the friendly against Denmark on 17 August,[115] but did not play in the game.[116] His England debut eventually came on 1 March 2006, when he started against Uruguay at Anfield in a pre-2006 FIFA World Cup friendly match.[117] He was not included in England's World Cup squad when it was announced in May 2006.[118]
Despite having played for the senior side, Bent was recalled to the under-21 squad for their October 2006 qualification play-offs against Germany.[119] Later that month, he was recalled to the senior squad due to an injury to Andrew Johnson shortly after the squad's announcement.[120] He was called to the England squad for a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifieragainst Croatia in November 2007.[121] He came on as an 80th-minute substitute as England lost 3–2 and failed to qualify for the tournament.[122] He was called up to the team for a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in March 2009 following an injury to striker Carlton Cole.[123] He made his second start for England in a 1–0 friendly defeat toBrazil on 14 November 2009.[124] Bent was named in England's preliminary 30-man squad for the 2010 World Cup on 11 May 2010,[125] although he was eventually omitted from the final 23-man squad on 1 June.[126]
Bent scored his first international goal in England's 3–1 away win over Switzerland after appearing as a substitute for Jermain Defoe in a Euro 2012 qualifier on 7 September 2010.[127] Capello stated he had been impressed with the improvement in Bent's all-round game since his World Cup omission[128] and selected him in the starting XI for England's friendly with Denmark, where he scored a tap-in from a Theo Walcott cross. Bent retained his place for England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Wales to make his first competitive international start on 26 March 2011.[129] In scoring England's second goal he took his tally to three goals in his last three matches.[130] Bent recovered from injury in time but was ultimately left out of the final 23-man squad for Euro 2012 as Hodgson felt Bent would not be fit enough to appear at the tournament.[131]

Career statistics


As of match played 18 August 2015.
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
ClubSeasonLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeOtherTotal
Ipswich Town2001–02[10]FA Premier League5100111[a]072
2002–03[11]First Division351223323[a]14318
2003–04[12]First Division371510102[b]14116
Charlton Athletic2005–06[132]FA Premier League361852324422
2006–07[22]FA Premier League321300323515
Tottenham Hotspur2007–08[31]Premier League27600108[a]2368
2008–09[40]Premier League331210316[a]44317
Sunderland2009–10[55]Premier League382421004025
2010–11[67]Premier League20811222311
Aston Villa2010–11[67]Premier League169169
2011–12[83]Premier League22921102510
2012–13[133]Premier League1632251236
2014–15[104]Premier League701080
Fulham (loan)2013–14[98]Premier League2433231306
Brighton & Hove Albion (loan)2014–15[104]Championship5252
Derby County (loan)2014–15[104]Championship1510221712
Derby County2015–16[134]Championship10001020
Career total4141652214301218741488199
  1. Jump up to:a b c d Appearance(s) in UEFA Cup
  2. Jump up^ Appearances in First Division play-offs
  3. Jump up^ Appearances in Championship play-offs


As of match played 15 November 2011.[135]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National teamSeasonAppsGoals


  • Charlton Athletic Player of the Year: 2005–06[20]
  • Sunderland Player of the Year: 2009–10