Aston Villa have announced the signing of Middlesbrough left back Joe Bennet for £2.75 million as a replacement for Stephen Warnock who seems destined for the Villa Park exit, but what can we tell you about the 22 year old?
1. Joe was born in Rochdale in 1990 moving to the North East with his mother when he was 10 years old.
2. He played for Northallerton Town as a schoolboy, the same club current Tottenham centre back Michael Dawson played for before signing with Nottingham Forest.
3. His coach at the club was Boro scout and he was taken on board at the Teeside club in 2001.
4. Joe suffered an early setback in his career when he was de-registered as a player when an Under-15.
5. During this period he had an unsuccessful trial with Newcastle United and returned to Sunday League football.
6. After seeing improvements in his physique and fitness Middlesbrough resigned him after just one season.
7. After continuing his growth Joe made the bench for some of Middlesbrough’s last Premier League fixtures eventually making his first team debut against West Ham on the final day of the 2008-09 season.
8. Joe struggled to force his way into the side when Gordon Strachan was manager but became a regular at the Riverside under Tony Mowbrary who wanted an attacking full back.
10. He has already made several youth team appearances for England whilst also representing the Under-21’s since 2011.
On Twitter the overwhelming message is one of good luck to Joe Bennett in his future career and at HITC we extend that wish. Here are a few of the reactions from the social network site to Joe’s switch to Villa Park.
Goodwill wishes from team-mates new and old…
Congrats to @joebennett27 on his move, top player! Top lad! All the best mate!!!
@joebennett27 all the best mate!
congratulations to @joebennett27 guna miss u lad!
And Joe himself has had this to say...
Im overwhelmed with everyones messages of support from both boro and villa fans. Thankyou
Im gunna miss all the lads!! Quality lads and i hope they go far. I'm sure they will get the club back to where it belongs!!
Not going to lie it’s been a really hard decision for me. I’ve spoken to a lot of people about it and for my development I think I've made the right choice. I’m going to miss everyone at Middlesbrough. I just want to say thank you to everyone that has supported me throughout my time there. I’m excited for a new challenge at Aston Villa!
image: © ell brown