Aston Villa

Aston Villa should rival Fulham to sign Cardiff’s Bennett

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Steve Bruce needs to replace the loss of Jordan Amavi at Aston Villa by bringing in competition for Neil Taylor and re-signing Joe Bennett would do just that.

Bleacher report transfer expert Dean Jones claimed on his personal Twitter account on Monday that Championship rivals Fulham are interested in signing the Cardiff City 27-year-old.

It is said that the Cottagers are keen to sign a new left-back after losing Scott Malone to Huddersfield earlier on in the transfer window, and Bennett has been identified as a top target to replace Malone.

Bennett left Villa last summer to join Cardiff, four years after signing on at Villa Park in the summer of 2012 from Middlesbrough for a fee of around £3million.

However, he failed to make an impact with the Midlands giants, making just 38 appearances in that time and instead being loaned out to the likes of Brighton, Bournemouth and Sheffield Wednesday.

Since moving to Cardiff, Bennett has found his feet once again in England’s second tier and although injury prevented him from featuring regularly, he shone in his 25 appearances during 2016-17.

Remaining defensively solid by keeping six clean sheets and conceding only 28 goals during those outings, Bennett also showed a willingness to get forward and score three goals from the left side of defence.

Villa now need to replace the loss of Amavi, who has since joined Ligue 1 giants Marseille, in order to provide cover for Wales international Neil Taylor.

Bennett should be that man, with plenty of Championship experience following his multiple loans to the second tier of English football, playing in 154 matches during his career.

Known for his pace, aggression and low centre of gravity, the wing-back is equally adept at getting forward as he is defensively and would provide Bruce’s side with an added attacking threat when in the final third.

With two years remaining on his current contract, it remains to be seen how much Bennett would cost but if Villa can secure a deal to sign him for around £2million then they will have themselves a bargain.

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