Darren Bent has waxed lyrical about Jeff Hendrick after the Newcastle United midfielder impressed on his debut against West Ham yesterday.

The former England international, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, tipped the 28-year-old to become an “unsung hero” on Tyneside due to his versatility and work ethic.

The Republic of Ireland international marked his debut for the Magpies with a goal and assist as Steve Bruce’s side beat West Ham 2-0 on Saturday night.

Hendrick arrived on a free transfer earlier in the transfer window after he left Burnley upon the expiration of his contract.

Bent revealed how he saw the midfielder’s quality first-hand from their time together at Derby County.

“Jeff Hendrick – absolutely superb finish,” he told Football Insider.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“I played with Jeffy at Derby and I have seen it first hand. He has got ability and quality. I do not think that we always saw it when he was at Burnley but we saw it a few times for the Republic of Ireland.

“When he was available on a free and there was talk of AC Milan and Manchester United, I never quite saw that happening. But when Newcastle came in I did think to myself, ‘That would be a good fit.’

“He can play on the left, he can play through the middle, he can play number 10 and he works extremely hard.

“He will suit Newcastle really well and could be one of those unsung heroes. There is now a sense of direction at Newcastle. Exciting times.”

Speaking to the club’s media after the win, Hendrick said: “I’m happy to get the win in the first game with the lads, and get a goal. It’s a brilliant feeling.

“Getting three points on the first day of the season is massive and it’s something we can build on.”

In other Newcastle United news, it can be REVEALED that Spanish club are in advanced talks to sign Magpies forward.