Bent completes Aston Villa move and can be top league scorer

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Darren Bent has been confirmed as Gerard Houllier’s fourth signing as Aston Villa boss and will immediately aim to continue his scoring exploits from recent Premier League seasons.

Bent signed a four-and-a-half year contract at Aston Villa, with speculation indicating that the club record fee is in the region of £18m.

He has been a regular Premier League scorer in his time at Sunderland, netting 24 goals last season and striking eight already during the current campaign.

This leaves him six adrift of Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov, but there is a strong chance he can bridge this gap, given the creativity of Aston Villa’s midfield.

Bent’s betting odds are 20/1 to be the Premier League top scorer and he should profit from the crossing capabilities of namely Stewart Downing, Marc Albrighton and Ashley Young.

The signing is particularly big for Villa given that they have arguably been lacking a goalscorer for much of the campaign, with winger Downing their current leading scorer with only five goals.

Meanwhile, Villa’s strikers have only contributed four league goals between them and Emile Heskey has three of these.

Bent will go straight into the Villa squad for their next game at home to Manchester City and the Premier League odds value them at 5/2 to secure victory.

He has already proved a thorn in the side of Manchester City this season as he scored the only goal against them in Sunderland’s 1-0 at the Stadium of Light.

Furthermore, Bent has helped himself to three goals in his last four appearances against Manchester City.

Manchester City have already beaten Aston Villa 4-0 this season and are 10/11 to take the three points again.

A £25 stake on Aston Villa beating Manchester City 1-0 would return £200. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.