Albion sign Premier League left-back on loan

Joe Bennett with Albion boss Sami Hyypia. Picture by Geoff Penn
Joe Bennett with Albion boss Sami Hyypia. Picture by Geoff Penn
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Brighton & Hove Albion completed the signing of Joe Bennett on a season-long loan from Premier League Aston Villa yesterday evening.

The 24-year-old left-back was at Elland Road on Tuesday to watch Albion’s 2-0 win over Leeds United, before heading south to undergo a medical at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

Bennett signed the paperwork on Wednesday afternoon and will train with the Seagulls for the first time on Friday, ahead of Saturday’s game against Bolton Wanderers at the Amex.

Albion boss Sami Hyypia said: “I’m delighted we have agreed with Joe and Aston Villa to bring him here on a season-long loan.

“He is a dynamic left-back, who’s very comfortable on the ball. He’s very mobile and will suit the way we want to play.

“He is a good footballer, who knows how to use the ball and I hope he will be a very good player for us.

“At 24 he has a good deal of experience, both in the Championship with Middlesbrough and in the Premier League with Aston Villa, and that too is key.”

Bennett made his debut for Middlesbrough in May, 2009, in the club’s final game in the Premier League, having graduated through the club’s academy.

He played 92 times for Boro before making a £2.75m switch to Aston Villa when Paul Lambert signed him in August 2012. Over the past two seasons he’s made 37 appearances for Villa.

Bennett, who will wear squad number 30 for Albion, has also represented England at under-19, under-20 and under-21 level.