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Republic of Ireland star Alex Pearce: 'Derby move can help me become a Premier League player again'


Alex Pearce

Alex Pearce

Alex Pearce

IRELAND defender Alex Pearce believes that his move from Reading can help him become a Premier League player again.

Pearce has spent 14 years with the Royals and had been offered a new deal but he's opted to move on, agreeing a three-year contract with Derby, a move which will see him compete with international team-mate Richard keogh for a defensive berth next season.

"The ambition of the club was a huge pull for me. I spoke to certain people within the club and it was clear to see that there is a clear vision here at Derby to not only get into the Premier League, but stay there and that is something that you want to be part of as a player," said Pearce, who has made over 200 league appearances for the Royals.

"I want to now play a key part in this club moving forward of this club getting out of the Championship and into the Premier League. I have been at Reading for a long time, since I was 12-years-old, but there is always a time in your life when you have to move on."

Aston Villa's record signing Darren Bent, released on a free transfer after four years, has also signed for Derby.

The 31-year-old spent the last four months of the season on loan at the Championship club, who missed out on a place in the promotion playoffs after finishing the campaign badly despite Bent's 12 goals in 17 appearances.

"Darren Bent is a proven goal-scorer and that was something he proved during his loan spell with the club last season," Derby's new head coach, Paul Clement said.