Bennett seals Villa switch
Aston Villa have completed the signing of Middlesbrough left-back Joe Bennett.
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The 22-year-old England Under-21 international has signed a four-year deal with the Barclays Premier League club.
Bennett completed his move to Villa Park after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee, believed to be around the £2.5million mark.
Manager Paul Lambert admitted after their 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat of Tranmere he was hopeful of making progress with a move for Bennett - and after completing the deal he spoke of his plans for the player.
He said: "Joe's a really good player, young and hungry to succeed and he's exactly the type of player we want here at the football club.
"There's no doubt in my mind that he will thrive in this environment and he fits in exactly with what we are trying to build here.
"His energy level is really high and he can get up and down the pitch really well, which will be important for the team and important in terms of how we want to play as a team.
"He's an exciting signing and I'm really pleased we've been able to take him here."
Bennett, a former Boro youth team player, said: "I am really excited to have joined a massive club in Aston Villa and I'm eager to fight for a starting place and get in the team.
"It's up to the manager to pick the team, of course, but it would be great to go back to the north-east this weekend and make my debut against Newcastle.
"I know a few of the Villa players from England Under-21s, the likes of Nathan Delfouneso and Nathan Baker and that will help in terms of settling in. I'm looking forward to it.
"My approach has always been to get forward and try to create things. If I keep working on my game and improving it I know I can succeed at this level and help the team."
Bennett becomes Lambert's sixth signing in this transfer window following fellow defenders Ron Vlaar and Matt Lowton, midfielder Karim El Ahmadi, winger Brett Holman and goalkeeper Brad Guzan.