Darren Bent targets Euro 2012 after reaching Premier League century


Darren Bent became the 21st player to reach 100 goals in the Barclays Premier League and now wants to take his scoring form into Euro 2012.

The Aston Villa striker is desperate to be part of England manager Fabio Capello's squad for the summer finals.

He suffered heartbreak in missing out on the 2006 and 2010 World Cup squads, while England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

When asked if reaching a century of goals would help his England chances, Bent said: "So much has gone on before. I have had times in my career when I have been scoring loads of goals and not been picked before.

"Anything is possible when it comes to that. All I can do is keep reminding people of what I can do and keep trying to put the ball in the back of the net.

"Hopefully a big stat like me getting into the 100 club will help my cause.

"I've said many times how much I want to play in a major tournament for England especially after missing out before."

Bent, who reached the goal milestone during the 2-2 home draw with QPR on Wednesday night, insists he was always committed to remaining at Villa despite being strongly linked with a move to Liverpool in January.

Bent said: "It was laughable. I always knew I was going to be at Villa.

"I have said before, I would like to stay at Villa for years and really kick on in my career while playing for Aston Villa.

"It is flattering to be linked with clubs like Liverpool but, at the same time, I always knew I was going to be here come February 1 and I am delighted to be here.

"You just laugh it off and get on with it. Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in the world but at the same time it never crossed my mind once to leave."

Bent, 27, revealed his pride at joining the list of players with triple-figure goal returns since the Premier League's inception in 1992. Alan Shearer heads the list, with 260 goals, followed by Andy Cole (187) and Thierry Henry (174).

Bent, formerly of Ipswich, Charlton, Tottenham and Sunderland, said: "It feels fantastic. I have been thinking about it. Ever since I stepped in the Premier League I always thought about joining the 100 club.

"When I got the first one it was a long time ago, so for me to have actually done it now feels fantastic.

"Some of the names in that bracket are fantastic so for me to be amongst them now is great. Hopefully I have still got time to get more goals and push right up there in the 100 club."