Aston Villa loanee Joe Bennett keeping options open with Sherwood arrival

The left-back plans to talk with the new Villa boss when he returns from Brighton & Hove Albion at the end of the campaign.

On-loan Brighton & Hove Albion left-back Joe Bennett has told the Argus that he has put his future on hold with Tim Sherwood’s appointment at parent club Aston Villa.

Signed from Middlesbrough in August 2012 for £2.75 million, Bennett was a regular starter during his first season at Villa Park, but made just six appearances during the 2013-14 campaign after losing his place in the line-up to newcomer Antonio Luna and loanee Ryan Bertrand, respectively.

With the since-departed Paul Lambert adding both Aly Cissokho and Kieran Richardson in the summer, the 24-year-old found himself shipped off to Brighton on a season-long loan in August, where he has since started all but two Championship games.

A permanent move to the Amex Stadium was discussed this winter but, with Sherwood’s arrival since giving him the chance of a fresh start in the West Midlands, the defender is keeping his options open until he gets a chance to the hold talks with the new Villa boss.

“I haven't spoken to Tim at all, so I wouldn't be able to say what he is thinking or what he wants me to do,” he said.

"I'll have to speak to him at the end of the season but we have got five left-backs at Villa and a lot [of players] out on loan at the moment."

Villa have been forced to use right-back Mattew Lowton on the left-hand side of defence over the past three games due to injuries to Cissokho and Richardson, but it’s debatable whether Bennett would want to remain at the club as third-choice next season.

His performances for Brighton have been solid in recent months, but perhaps not impressive enough to suggest that he has taken a significant step forward since his difficult debut campaign under Lambert.

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