Bennett signs up for the Premier League with Norwich City
Jigsaw puzzle piece number three fell into place on Tuesday night when Norwich City confirmed the imminent signing of Elliott Bennett to Carrow Road.
The 22-year-old arrives on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee and joins strikers James Vaughan and Steve Morison as the newest components of manager Paul Lambert's Premier League battle plan.
Bennett's arrival ends a mini transfer saga after City's initial overtures in January were rejected by Brighton. Bennett handed in a transfer request, but remained on the south coast to play a major part in securing Brighton's League One title success before making the jump up two divisions of the footballing ladder. The relevant paperwork still needs to be completed on the deal, but Bennett is looking forward to making his mark on the top flight.
'It's an unbelievable opportunity for me to fight for a place in the team which will be playing in the Premier League,' he told the club's official website. 'I like the mentality at Norwich City that has seen them get back-to-back promotions and I'm grateful to Paul Lambert for giving me the chance to be part of what's happening at the club.'
Once again, Lambert appears to have found the key to the hunger that he demands of his players – Telford-born Bennett began his career at Wolves, but never made it at Molineux and had loan spells at Crewe and Bury, where he spent 18 months.
'I didn't make it through at Wolves, which was my home town club, and Brighton gave me the opportunity and I'm grateful for that,' said Bennett. 'Now I'm just really excited about the chance to try and help Norwich in the Premier League.'
What Lambert has tapped into is a young career that blossomed after Bennett moved south in August, 2009.
- 1 The school where boys can wear skirts - but not shorts
- 2 Woman in her 20s dies in A47 crash
- 3 Cyclist in her 50s dies in A11 crash
- 4 Michael Bublé concert bans chairs and blankets from gig
- 5 Man jealous of ex-wife's new relationship burnt down house
- 6 Husband sues hospital over 'medical neglect' death of wife
- 7 How much will Great Yarmouth's new Marina Centre cost?
- 8 Norfolk's landmark vote to curb second homes
- 9 A11 reopens after air ambulance called to crash
- 10 Roadworks and closures to be aware of in Norfolk this week
In his first season he scored nine goals in 47 appearances and then followed up with eight in 53. But it was in the assists column where he really stood out – last season he was credited with 17 assists in the league – the third highest – although his overall tally was well over the 20 mark. The previous season he was sixth with 11 assists – just two behind City star Wes Hoolahan.
Bennett arrived at Brighton as a winger, but Gus Poyet deployed him in a free role across the park.
'He's a young and exciting player with plenty of pace,' said Lambert. 'He can play in a wide position or in behind the forwards – he's a quick lad and he's got a winning mentality.
'He played his full part in what Brighton achieved last season and that desire to succeed will stand him in good stead here.'