June 08, 2015 14:06:13 UK
Derby County head coach Paul Clement believes that new signing Darren Bent will be a key figure as the Rams aim to secure a return to the Premier League next season.
The 31-year-old England international has signed a two-year contract with Derby following his release from Aston Villa, having scored 12 goals in 17 appearances for the Rams during a loan spell last season.
He is going to be key in our plans to move forward.
Despite that return Derby missed out on the Championship play-offs and former Real Madrid coach Clement is hoping that Bent will be a big player for his side next term.
He told the club’s official website: “Darren Bent is a proven goalscorer and that was something he proved during his loan spell with the club last season. He is going to be key in our plans to move forward.”
Bent, who has won 13 caps for England, started his career with Ipswich Town, before enjoying spells with Charlton Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland and Villa and scored 106 career goals in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Clement has also strengthened his defensive options by snapping up Alex Pearce on a three-year deal following his departure from Championship rivals Reading.
The 26-year-old Republic of Ireland international is clearly highly thought of by Clement, who added: “Alex Pearce is an experienced central defender and we are very pleased to have him signed.
“He is strong, physical and an international footballer as well, so he has lot of good qualities.”
Derby can be backed at 9.00 to win the Championship title next season, with the Rams 3.75 to secure promotion.
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