Marcus Bent has asked Birmingham City supporters to judge him on his performances on the field and not on the number of clubs he has played for.
Blues are the 30-year-old’s 11th club, after he previously wore the colours of Brentford, Crystal Palace, Port Vale, Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town, Leicester City, Everton, Charlton Athletic and Wigan Athletic.
Questions could be asked about the reasons for a player being moved on so frequently, but Bent is quick to point out his nomadic career has not been entirely of his own making.
Bent has certainly had a colourful private life, having dated glamour models Danielle Lloyd and Gemma Atkinson in recent years, but he has insisted he is no playboy footballer.
These days Bent, who signed for Blues earlier this month for £1?million from Charlton Athletic, lives the quiet life in the north of England and is determined to see out his three-year contract at St Andrew’s.
“I do get fed up with moving around,” he said. “People might look at my history and say I have moved on a lot, but if anyone has taken the time to see why I have moved or why I have had so many clubs, then they would understand.
“It wasn’t because I wanted to move, it is because a club either wanted to move me on to get a bigger player in or have been in financial trouble and needed the cash from selling me.
“I have come here and I am raring to go, and I want to do as well as I can for this club. I want to stay for the entire length of my contract.
“I was the most settled at Everton and played my best football as a result. That was the most I have achieved. I am still an Everton fan. I love the club and the people to bits and I try to get back there as often as I can.
“I tend to settle better up north. Down south is too busy, there is too much hustle and bustle. It is a bit more chilled here and I am settled now. I just want to concentrate on my football now and scoring goals for Birmingham City.”
Bent said he had been made to feel instantly at home at Birmingham and enjoyed the welcome his new team-mates gave him when he linked up with them during their recent pre-season tour of Austria after completing his move.
Bent already knows James McFadden and Lee Carsley from his time at Goodison Park, while Martin Taylor and Damien Johnson were colleagues from his spell at Blackburn Rovers, and said he liked the spirit within the club.
“There are a lot of good characters and good players here and there is a great atmosphere which is what you need in a squad trying to get back to the Premier League,” he said.
“We had that team morale when I was Blackburn and Everton and we were very successful. We worked for each other on and off the pitch and I am sure that will happen here.
“When I went over to Austria, it was like I had been there for years. Everyone showed me round and it was very good.
“We have a lot of talented players, old and young and I am determined to play my part but if I am left out of the team, I will be encouraging the other lads on. We need that good team spirit.
“I want to play regularly and score goals but if I am out of the squad I will just have to knuckle down and work hard to get back in.”