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Darren Bent grateful for Sunderland chance
Published : 06 Aug 2009 08:24:21
The England striker spoke out after putting pen to paper on a four-year contract at the Stadium of Light to conclude a transfer that has dragged on throughout the summer. "It seems like it's taken a long old time to come around, but now it's finally here I'm delighted," said Bent who has become Sunderland's most expensive ever signing. "I'm feeling relief more than anything as it's been dragging on for two or three weeks and it was beginning to get a bit frustrating. "But I'm here now and I'm looking forward to starting the season with Sunderland. "The club made a real play to get me; they made me feel wanted and that meant a lot to me," he said. "I know how passionate the fans are and how much they love football - it's fantastic. "There's definitely a lot of potential here as the stadium and the training ground are second to none. I'm looking forward to playing at the stadium and using the training facilities we've got here." Bent was deemed surplus to requirements at Spurs just two years after a £16.5m move from Charlton to White Hart Lane even though he finished as the club's leading scorer last term with 17 goals to his name. "If I can score as many as last year and maybe a few more I'll be delighted," the former Ipswich forward said. "The first thing I've got to do is earn my place because we've got some fantastic strikers here. "Obviously I know Fraizer [Campbell] from last year, while big Kenwyne [Jones] and David Healy are here as well. "But I've come here to play football - if I can work hard and produce the goods there should be no problem." Bent, who has four full international caps to his credit, will be aiming to make sure he secures a place in Fabio Capello's England plans as the 2010 World Cup looms but for now he is focused on helping Sunderland into the upper echelons of the Premier League. The 25-year-old continued: "I'm a goalscorer and I don't think that will change but at the same time I want to help the team win, work hard and fight tooth and nail to help us and secure a really, really good finish." Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, who is optimistic about bolstering his defence with the signing of former West Ham player Lucas Neill, expressed delight at securing Bent's services. "Darren is a fantastic player so I am thrilled to have him as our football club," Bruce said. He has pace and is a natural finisher so he will be a great addition to our strike force, giving us new attacking options. "You just have to look at his goal-scoring record in the top flight to realise that Darren is a huge signing."