Aston Villa loanee Joe Bennett open to permanent Sheffield Wednesday move

Sheffield Wednesday - The Owls

The 25-year-old left-back joined the Championship promotion hopefuls on Tuesday for the rest of the season.

Aston Villa defender Joe Bennett has told BBC Radio Sheffield that he would be open to joining Sheffield Wednesday permanently if his loan spell at Hillsborough goes well.

Bennett, 25, spent the first half of this season on loan at Bournemouth but failed to make a senior appearance for the Cherries before returning to Villa earlier this month to compete for the left-back spot in the absence of the injured Jordan Amavi.

However, Aly Cissokho, who was recalled early from his own temporary stint at Porto, has since been manager Remi Garde’s preferred option, leaving the former Middlesbrough man surplus to requirements.

He has now linked up with the Yorkshire side for the rest of the campaign, and despite extending his Villa deal until 2017 in September, is not ruling out the prospect of joining the club on a full-time basis in the summer.

Asked about staying at Wednesday permanently if he enjoys his loan spell, Bennett said: “Maybe, yeah. That’s something I’d have to think about, but if they’re pushing for promotion go up then I don’t see why not.

“I’ve got another year left at Villa but the most important thing for me is playing games and I’m really looking forward to helping Sheffield Wednesday for the remaining part of the season.”

Bennett is now set to compete with Daniel Pudil for a starting spot Carlos Carvalhal’s side, who are sitting in sixth place in the Championship after 27 games following a run of five wins in six matches.

The Rochdale-born defender received loan offers from a number of other second tier clubs but decided on Wednesday in part because of Owls midfielder and former Villa teammate Barry Bannan’s influence.

“There were a few teams that were in for me on loan but I thought Sheffield Wednesday was an ideal team to come to,” he added. “I spoke to Barry Bannan and he said that he’s really enjoying it here and they’ve got a really good chance to push for promotion, so it was a no-brainer really. I’m looking forward to playing some games.

“It’s always nice to have someone you know and have previously played with. I’ve spoken to him and he’s said he’s loved it up there and playing really well at the minute, so there’s no reason why I can’t come and do the same.”

Bennett has made 38 total appearances for Villa since signing from Middlesbrough in August 2012 for around £2.75 million, but he has featured just eight times for the club over the past three seasons after falling out of favour following his debut campaign.

After spending last season on loan with Brighton, the former England Under-21 international had hoped to challenge for a place in the first-team this term but found himself stuck behind summer signing Amavi and utility man Kieran Richardson in the pecking order before making a deadline day move to Bournemouth until January.

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