Joe Bennett

Joe Bennett
Date of Birth:
5' 10" (177cm)
11st 10lbs (74.4kg)
Previous Clubs:
Middlesbrough, Middlesbrough

Villa snapped up skilful full-back Joe Bennett from Middlesbrough in the final week of the 2012 summer transfer window.

The England U21 defender became the club's fifth summer signing.

His finish to his debut campaign had many predicting big things for the likeable left-back.

There's no question Bennett improved with every game, shaking off his sending-off against Norwich to excel in the full-back role.

He has been in and out of the side this season - missing a proportion of the campaign with knee and back problems - but when he has played, he's done well - none more so that his performance against Chelsea in the 1-0 Villa win.

Rochdale-born defender Bennett emerged through Boro's academy ranks and earned rave reviews after breaking into the first team in 2009.

Bennett, who has played at left-back and left midfield, signed a professional contract with the Teessiders in 2008-09 after impressing in their academy setup.

His excellent progress that season led to several appearances on the bench before finally being handed his Barclays Premier League debut against West Ham in the final game of the season.

Bennett also played a leading role as England reached the final of the UEFA European U19 Championships in Ukraine.

Having waited patiently for a run in the first team at Boro, Bennett flourished under the management of Tony Mowbray.

He made 31 league appearances in 2010-11 before featuring in 41 of Boro's 46 Championship games the following season.

Bennett has three caps for England U21s. His debut for Stuart Pearce's team came against Italy in February 2011.

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