Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth admits interest in signing Aston Villa loanee Benjamin Siegrist permanently

The 24-year-old Swiss goalkeeper made his debut for the League Two club in Saturday's 1-0 loss to Accrington Stanley.

Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth has revealed to the Bucks Free Press that he is eyeing a permanent move for on-loan Aston Villa goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist.

Siegrist originally joined Wycombe on loan in mid-March but had to wait until Saturday’s final home game of the season to make his debut for the League Two club.

The 24-year-old Swiss was handed a surprise start for Accrington Stanley’s visit to Adams Park, and while he could not prevent his side from falling to a 1-0 defeat on the afternoon, his performance still left a positive impression on his manager.

He could now keep his place in the line-up for this coming weekend’s trip to Oxford United, and Ainsworth has admitted that is hoping to turn the former Under-21 international’s short-term spell into a permanent one at the end of the campaign.

“I think he was outstanding and we have got a potential gem in Benjamin Siegrist now,” Ainsworth told the Bucks Free Press. “It is all about this club and whether we can get players like that. I will be working hard in the summer [to do that].

“Benji has been here for seven or eight weeks and hasn’t played a game. The only time I can get a look at him is in a first-team game and that goes for every player here.

“[Saturday] was a chance to look at a keeper who I think is good enough to play in League Two and I was very impressed with what I saw.”

Siegrist joined Villa from hometown club FC Basel in 2009 but has still not made a senior appearance for the claret and blues, despite being tipped for a bright future after proving an integral part of Switzerland’s 2009 Under-17 World Cup-winning side.

His future in B6 looked to be in doubt last summer when he suffered a broken leg during a training session just a month before his contract expired, but the 6ft 4in stopper later signed a new deal before proving his fitness during a 12-game loan stint at Solihull Moors earlier this season.

Nevertheless, he has remained Villa’s fourth-choice keeper behind Brad Guzan, Mark Bunn and fellow loanee Jed Steer, and having acknowledged the need to start getting regular games at this stage of his career, the once highly-rated prospect seems open to the idea of joining Wycombe permanently this summer.

“That was the plan [to stay beyond his initial loan] and the manager brought me in to look at me in training, so I am thankful for the opportunity,” Siegrist told the Bucks Free Press. “It is a good set-up here and I like training with Baz [Barry Richardson]. I see the enthusiasm the gaffer has which does transfer onto the players.

“As far as my career goes, I am definitely looking to improve and I need to play. Like I say Wycombe have given me the opportunity and I am really thankful for that.”

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