Aston Villa's stand-in manager Gary McAllister heaped praise on two-goal hero Darren Bent following his dream double at the Emirates Stadium yesterday.
Bent’s brace in the opening fifteen minutes set Villa on their way to a 2-1 victory over Arsenal, lifting the Midlands club to 13th place in the Barclays Premier League table.
The quick-fire strikes took Bent's tally to nine goals in just fifteen league games since his January move to Villa Park, adding to the major contribution he has already made to the claret and blue’s and further enhancing the justification of his hefty price tag.
"What a great signing he has been since the first minute he arrived," beamed McAllister.
"He has been class. He's a proven goalscorer – his record suggests that – and he has been excellent around the place."
The £18million fee (which could rise to £24m) – a club record, that Villa owner Randy Lerner sanctioned to bring Bent to Villa Park, was at first met with shock, but later proved to be the first of a number of big-money moves in the mid-season window.
"It was a big show of faith by the owners to invest the money in bringing him to the club," McAllister continued.
"People raised their eyebrows when he joined us for such a big fee, but by the end of the month, when other players were going for £50m and £35m, he didn't look a bad buy."