Young - Bent signing's huge
Villa winger backs record buy to deliver the goods
By Ben Collins. Last Updated: January 20, 2011 8:25pm
Young: Relishing Bent arrival
Ashley Young has hailed Aston Villa's capture of Darren Bent as "massive" for the club.
Villa made a surprise £18million swoop to sign Bent from Sunderland this week, smashing their transfer record.
Manager Gerard Houllier was eager to boost his attack in a bid to drag the Premier League strugglers away from relegation trouble.
He is set to throw Bent straight in for his debut in Saturday's home game against Manchester City and Young is backing his England team-mate to live up to his hefty price tag.
"Darren will bring a lot to Villa," he said. "He scores goals - that's number one in his game - and he brings other attributes too.
"But if you do look at his record in front of goal it's very, very impressive.
"He's been the highest scorer in the Premier League for the past five years apart from Wayne Rooney and Didier Drogba.
"It's huge for us. He's a massive signing. Everyone is delighted that the club has been able to pull it off.
"I've come across him on international duty and know him really well. He's a top lad. I am sure he will add to what we've got here."
Bent has moved four times in the last six years, leaving Ipswich for Charlton in 2005, joining Tottenham two years later and then Sunderland in 2009.
And with Young insisting spirits remain high around Villa Park, he believes the 26-year-old will have little trouble settling in.
"It's easy for anyone to fit in at our place because we have a terrific team spirit and a real bond," he said.
"He'll be comfortable straight away. He'll fit in, no problem."
Bent may be pushing to take penalty-taking duties off Young, though, having missed just three in his entire career - all saved by Tottenham's Heurelho Gomes.
"I've tried to have banter with Ashley about the penalty situation," said Bent.
"I'm sure we'll talk about it and hopefully I'll be able to get onto them. But there's nothing in my contract saying that I have to take penalties.
"If I can take them, I might let Ashley take them against Spurs!"
Thankfully for Bent, Villa can only face Spurs again in the FA Cup this season as they have already played them home and away in the Premier League.