Elliott Bennett’s injury could give Norwich City boss Chris Hughton a transfer dilemma

Norwich City midfielder Elliott Bennett's long-term injury lay-off following knee ligament could for

Norwich City midfielder Elliott Bennett's long-term injury lay-off following knee ligament could force Chris Hughton back into the transfer market. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton admitted Elliott Bennett's long-term injury lay-off could force him back into the transfer market.

The Canaries' chief revealed yesterday Bennett will be sidelined for 'several months' after undergoing surgery to the knee ligament injury suffered in the opening day draw against Everton.

Swedish international striker Johan Elmander became the club's eighth signing of a productive summer earlier this week when he joined from Galatasaray on a season-long loan, but Bennett's untimely absence may trigger a fresh foray ahead of the September 2 deadline.

'It is something that we will assess,' said Hughton. 'I am happy with the squad now but of course come September 2 I want to know we are well-prepared for everything. Firstly it is a blow for the lad himself. Everyone will be aware what a good lad he is and what a team player he is. I felt he'd had a good pre-season and played well at the weekend.

It wasn't something that was immediately apparent to us straight after the match. He felt it afterwards and once we had done our initial medical checks it became clear we would need to get an operation done.

'He was operated on Wednesday and it will keep him out for a number of months. It is a big blow for us. It is ligament damage and he will be out several months.'

Elmander's midweek arrival saw Luciano Becchio yesterday touted with a potential switch to Championship club Middlesbrough.

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'When you are at clubs in the Premier League there is always going to be speculation. That is normal,' said Hughton. 'What we have managed to do very well here is when we are bringing in players we make sure we inform people at the right time. That is the same with letting players go.

'At this moment that is just speculation. It's all about competition. All the strikers we have bring different qualities. The challenge for all of them now is to force their way into the team. And that is a challenge for me.

'We want flexibility in the strikers we have and a big reason for bringing in Johan is because he is a team player. He wants to score goals, of course, but it is more important for him to do well for the team. That gives us a better chance to win football matches.'