DARREN BENT is unsurprised several leading clubs are chasing the signature of Ashley Young, given his form for England and Aston Villa.
Young is out of contract at Villa in 15 months’ time, and has already been linked with summer moves to Manchester United and Liverpool.
Bent has seen at first hand the form of his club-matesince his £24million move to Villa Park from Sunderland in January.
And on Saturday it was Young won the penalty for the first goal and laid on the second for Bent during England’s 2-0 win over Wales in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Cardiff.
Bent said: “Ashley has been playing really, really well this season and being linked to top, top sides.
“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.”
Bent admits he is starting to feel comfortable at international level after scoring in his last three internationals and being given a run in the side by Fabio Capello.
He said: “It’s always hard when you’ve had 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there but when you get a run in the side, you take great confidence from that.
“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.”
Bent added: “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.
“The most difficult one was getting the first one but hopefully now, if I can stay in the side, there will be many more goals.”