Bent in elite company as he bids for finals

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Darren Bent hopes joining the Premier League 100-goals club will serve as a reminder to England chief Fabio Capello of his ability.

Aston Villa striker Bent is desperate to be part of Capello’s squad for the Euro 2012 finals.

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

When asked if reaching 100 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, 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 becoming the 21st player to score 100 goals since the Premier League’s inception in 1992.

He 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.”

The former Ipswich, Tottenham, Charlton and Sunderland striker’s goal sparked a Villa revival after QPR had led 2-0.