Aston Villa's Joe Bennett looking to prove his worth on loan at Bournemouth

The 25-year-old left-back has joined the Premier League new boys until January after signing a one-year contract extension.

Aston Villa defender Joe Bennett is hoping that his time at Bournemouth will help prove that he deserves a place in Tim Sherwood’s long-term plans.

The 25-year-old left-back signed a one-year contract extension on deadline day to keep him at Villa Park until 2017, before joining the Premier League newcomers on loan for the first half of the season in a bid to get regular top-flight minutes.

Speaking to Villa’s official website, he said: “I'm really pleased to have signed the new contract. The manager and all the staff have been really encouraging.

"They believe the loan deal, and hopefully the opportunity to play regularly in the Premier League, will enhance my development and I feel the same.

"It's a good opportunity for me to add to the Premier League experience I've already amassed from my time at Aston Villa."

 2014-15 Championship PositionTeamGoalsAssistsTotal Key PassesPassing AccuracyTotal Crosses GAMETotal Tackles GAMEInterceptions GAMETotal Dribbles GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Joe Bennett DF Brighton 1 3 38 81% 2.39 2.32 2.46 1.93 41 3,674

Bennett first joined Villa from Middlesbrough in August 2012 for around £2.75 million and was a regular starter during his first season at the club, making 25 Premier League appearances.

However, after earning mixed reviews, the former England Under-21 international fell out of favour with ex-manager Paul Lambert ahead of the 2013-14 campaign and spent last term out on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion.

He gave a good account of himself for the most part, while featuring 41 times in the Championship, but returned to Villa Park this summer to find new signing Jordan Amavi and the versatile Kieran Richardson ahead of him in the pecking order.

Sherwood still seems to have high hopes for him, though, and gave him his first run-out of the season in last week’s 5-3 Capital One Cup win over Notts County, when he came on in extra-time to score the game’s final goal.

Now heading to Bournemouth for the next few months, it remains to be seen how much he will feature at Dean Court once injured duo Charlie Daniels and Tyrone Mings return to fitness but, with the chance to prove his top-flight credentials, his Cherries spell could well prove crucial towards determining his claret and blue future.

With Richardson not expected to be at Villa for much longer, the backup left-back spot could soon be up for grabs and, if Bennett impresses on the south coast, then there may well be a first-team role waiting for him when he returns to the Midlands.

Fail to make an impact, though, and that might just be it for his Villa career.

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