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The former England international has returned to Aston Villa following his loan spell at relegated Fulham and his team-mate has backed him to rediscover his form at Villa Park

Jores Okore has backed returning striker Darren Bent to rediscover his goalscoring form for Aston Villa next season.

Bent has only scored six Premier League goals in the last two campaigns, marking a significant downturn in form from his 24-goal season at Sunderland, which came just before his big-money move to Villa Park in 2011.

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The 13-cap England international was loaned to Fulham last season after falling out of favour with manager Paul Lambert, but managed just three league goals as the London club were relegated.

The 30-year-old is now back with Villa and team-mate Okore has seen enough in pre-season training to believe Bent can be an important part of Lambert's squad in 2014-15.

"Darren is a great player," he told the club's official website. "He's an attacker, he knows how to score goals.

"You can see that in training – he scores a lot of goals.

"Of course, he's back now and he will sharpen the attackers. I think last season we were a bit unlucky in that we had a lot of injuries in that forward position.

"So when they come back, we will have quality in the team and quality on the bench. That's what I am looking forward to."

Okore missed a large chunk of last season with a knee injury and will be looking to improve on a stuttering start to his Villa career.

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