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Premier League

Darren Bent 'fully committed' to Aston Villa despite shopping trip


Darren Bent has pledged his future to Aston Villa after again apologising for going out shopping when injured during the latter stages of Sunday's clash with Liverpool.

The club's record signing says he is "fully committed" to the midlands club after his £18million move from Sunderland in January.

Bent has been the subject of speculation and rumours linking him with a move next month to QPR.

But the England striker insists he came to Villa to "achieve things" and that nothing has altered.

Bent said: "I can assure the Villa fans that I'm committed to the football club and I love playing for Villa.

"I am passionate about Villa and playing here and I want to score goals for the team to do my best for the Villa fans.

"People sometimes forget where Villa were in the Premier League table (near the bottom) when I came here when Sunderland were sixth at the time.

"But I wanted to come here and achieve things and that has not changed."

Bent added: "I'm fully committed to the club. With January coming up there is always going to be rumours.

"I moved last January and, with this whole thing (going shopping) over the weekend, these things quickly grow out of proportion.

"But I just want to reiterate, I'm fully committed to the football club."

Bent was told by Villa's medical staff to go home after being treated on the morning of the Liverpool game for a thigh injury.

But he popped out to do some Christmas shopping after watching most of the game and this led to some fans being upset after a picture of him was posted on the internet.

Bent said: "I think it has all been blown of proportion. I watched a large chunk of the game - up to about 70 minutes or something - so I haven't missed hardly anything.

"I suddenly remembered I had to go out to the shops to a Christmas present so I nipped out. It was not like I'd been strolling around all day.

"I popped out to pick up an item and someone has obviously got a camera phone and taken a picture.

"It looks worse than it is and I can assure people that was all that happened. There is no other agenda here and I haven't fallen out with the manager."

Bent added: "The medical people actually advised me to not go to the game because if I had been sat there for a long period I could get stiff.

"They told me to stay away from it and just come in at the beginning of the week to get treatment.

"It wasn't like I was meant to be at a football match and I've just said 'no, I'm not going' and then just buggered off. All I've done is nipped into a shop and got something."

*Bent was talking during a Christmas visit by Villa players and officials to their official charity partner, the Acorns Hospice in Birmingham.