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Darren Bent leaves Villa, signs for Derby

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A number of Aston Villa players have left the club at the end of their contracts, the most notable being enigmatic striker Darren Bent.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

One of the most frustrating players in recent times, Darren Bent is no longer an Aston Villa player as his contract has expired and has not been renewed.

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Update:

It has since been revealed that Derby County have signed Darren Bent on a free transfer following his release from Aston Villa this morning.

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Original:

This morning, the club released the full list of players that are not receiving contract extensions, and the name Darren Bent sticks out among the youth and fringe players.

The club's record signing, Bent kicked off his Villa career in fine form following his £24 million move. His nine goals were crucial in Villa's survival in his first season, but Bent has since been unable to replicate that form, failing to reach double figures in goals during his four year spell at the club.

Bent's goal poaching style of play never seemed to suit Paul Lambert's Villa, with the front man often isolated and absent during many games, frustrating fans and manager alike. This led to a succession of loan moves, to Fulham, Brighton and Derby County. It was at Derby where the Darren Bent of old resurfaced, with the 31 year old scoring 10 in 15 games as Derby narrowly missed out on the playoffs. It is expected that Derby will make a permanent move for Bent now that his contract with Villa is up.

Another interesting piece of news revealed by Villa today, is that the club is offering a new deal to Ron Vlaar, despite his inconsistent season which was plagued by injury.

The full list of Villa players released today are-

Darren Bent, Enda Stevens, Graham Burke, Alfie Crooks, Craig Hill, Brad Lewis, Isaac Nehemie, Daniel O'Brien, Thomas Strain and Courtney Wildin, Dylan Forth, Harry Lewis and Ryan Strain.