Bent unsurprised by Young interest
Darren Bent is unsurprised several leading clubs are chasing the signature of Ashley Young given his current form for England and Aston Villa. Young is out of contract at Villa in 15 months time and already being linked with a summer move to the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool.
Bent has seen at first hand the talent of club-mate Young at Villa Park since his £24 million move from Sunderland in January. But now Young is also starting to produce a similar level on the international stage.
Young won the penalty for the first goal and laid on the second for Bent during England's 2-0 win over Wales in their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in Cardiff on Saturday.
"Ashley has been playing really, really well this season and being linked to top, top sides," said Bent. "It's because of the form he is showing, like against Wales, that all these clubs are after him. He was fantastic and it helps me that he is also in the Villa side.
"The main thing is we can keep going, hang onto him for as long as possible and keep creating the chances for Villa and scoring goals."
Growing confidence for Bent
Bent admits he is starting to feel comfortable at the international level after scoring in his last three international matches and being given a run in the side by Fabio Capello.
"It's always hard when you've had ten minutes here, ten minutes there, but when you get a run in the side, you take great confidence from that," he said.
"I'd love to be the number nine for as long as possible, but there are a lot of top strikers about. If Fabio keeps picking me, hopefully I'll keep producing the goods. Scoring at this level gives me a lot of confidence.
"International football is a step up from the Premier League and to show you can score goals at international level has always been the hardest thing.
"To be fair, for me the most difficult one was getting the first one, but hopefully now, if I can stay in the side, and keep playing well, there will be many more goals for me.
"I feel as if I belong at this level, definitely. I always believed in that even when at first the goals weren't going in. I always believed that I was good enough to score goals at this level and hopefully it is showing now."
"These games can always be difficult because derbies are always difficult games to play in," Bent said. "But for us to go 2-0 up in the first 15 minutes made it a lot more comfortable than maybe it could have been then if it had stayed 0-0 for a while.
"The manager was happy. There is always room for improvement and in the second half we took our foot off the gas and let them back into it. But we were definitely the better team over 90 minutes."