Bad luck dogged Elliott Bennett’s Norwich City career

Elliott Bennett in action at Old Trafford Stadium. Picture: Paul Chesterton.

Elliott Bennett in action at Old Trafford Stadium. Picture: Paul Chesterton. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

'Elliott Bennett joins Bristol City on loan deal', 'Brighton sign Elliott Bennett on loan', 'Elliott Bennett a doubt for Norwich City', 'Norwich midfielder Elliott Bennett ruled out until 2014'.

Elliott Bennett in the Barclay Stand after signing for City. Picture: Bill Smith.

Elliott Bennett in the Barclay Stand after signing for City. Picture: Bill Smith. - Credit: Archant � 2011

The headlines tell their own story when it comes to Blackburn Rovers' former Canaries winger Elliott Bennett.

It would appear the affable speedster had a constant trail of black cats walking in his path, such was his bad luck.

Bennett joined Norwich in June, 2011 from Brighton, and made positive headlines in April 2012 when he scored his first Premier League goal, at Spurs, in a famous 2-1 win.

He made 22 starts, and 10 appearances as a sub, that season, but that was as good as it got for Bennett.


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Admittedly he had a couple of short loan spells, but he never got into double-figures for starts again.

Bennett's greatest asset was his pace: it wasn't his only tool, but it was lethal when he was in top gear. However, when Paul Lambert departed to be replaced by Chris Hughton, there was always the suspicion that Bennett was holding back a little. The shackles were on, rather than unleashed, and Bennett's effectiveness waned.

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Then came disaster: Bennett played the opening game of the 2013-14 Premier League season, but suffered knee ligament damage, requiring surgery – he didn't return until the final game of the season, replacing Nathan Redmond in the 76th minute of a 2–0 defeat to Arsenal.

Redmond's presence had pushed Bennett down the pecking order: the rival was quick, perhaps quicker. Frankly, he was better.

Bennett had a loan at Brighton the following winter and then spent Christmas 2015 as a Bristol City loanee, before joining Blackburn – where he was reunited with Paul Lambert – in January last year. In four and a half years he started just 35 games – that tells the story.

This season he has started just seven games – a hamstring injury sustained against Norwich on the first day of the campaign kept him out of action for six weeks.

Some things never change, but one thing is pretty much guaranteed: if he runs out at Carrow Road on Saturday he will get a good reception from City fans.

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