When Darren Bent completed an £18 million move from Sunderland to Aston Villa in January, the striker claimed that part of the reason behind his transfer was the fact that Ashley Young and Stewart Downing would be supplying him with quality ammunition from the flanks.
However, the last few weeks have seen Young leave for Manchester United and Downing head to Liverpool, with Alex McLeish powerless to prevent the two England internationals from furthering their career.
Bent is admittedly disappointed that the duo have left the Midlands club although remains fully committed to Aston Villa and claims he is there for the long haul.
“I wouldn’t say it has affected me with the club,” Bent said. “Obviously what Stewy and Ash did was for their careers – Manchester United and Liverpool are two of the biggest clubs in the world, so they’ve got their reasons for doing it.
“But me, I’m more than happy to be here and play for Aston Villa. It’s a terrific football club. I’d like to be here for the long haul. I’ve only been here for six months and it’s gone really well. I want to build on that and hopefully this season will be as successful [personally] as last.”