Brighton have completed the signing of 24-year-old left-back Joe Bennett on a season-long loan from Aston Villa.
The Rochdale-born defender, a £2.75 million signing from Middlesbrough, has been limited to just 30 appearances in his two years at the Midlands club.
And with the arrival of French full-back Aly Cissokho, Bennett has been made surplus to requirements at Villa allowing Brighton to beat QPR and Wolves to his signing.
The move will see an end to the Seagulls’ search for a left-back, after they last week missed out on Stephen Ward to Premier League Burnley.
New Brighton boss Sami
Hyypia was pleased with the signing:
“I’m delighted we have agreed with Joe and Aston Villa to bring him here on a season-long loan.
“He is a dynamic left-back, who’s very comfortable on the ball. He’s very mobile and will suit the way we want to play.”
Bennett becomes Hyypia’s second signing in as many days after they handed former Celtic star Paddy McCourt a one-year deal yesterday following a successful trial with the south-coast club.
Hyypia was glad to be able to add to his attacking options saying:
““We have seen enough of Paddy in the last week or so to know that he is a player who has quality going forward”
The Northern-Ireland international was named as a substitute last night in Brighton’s 2-0 win at Leeds and both Bennett and McCourt are likely to be named in Hyypia’s squad ahead of their clash with Bolton this weekend.