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Southgate delighted with Bennett progression

20 June 2013 16:03

Gareth Southgate has praised "brave" Joe Bennett for joining Aston Villa before the start of last season.

The full-back joined the Midlands club from Middlesbrough in 2012, where he made his debut under the stewardship of Southgate.

And the former Villa defender has backed Bennett to continue his progress, even wIth the club set to sign Sevilla's Antonio Luna to provide more depth at full-back.

"I'm pleased to see he was brave enough to leave," he told the Birmingham Mail.

"It was a big decision for him, he grew up at Middlesbrough and a lot of boys from the North East don't like to leave.

"Personally (I think) it was the right time for him to move on and it would be great experience for him.

"I wasn't sure how much he'd play, he's possibly played more than he thought he would when he arrived. That's great, it's a year's experience under his belt.

"I saw a Premier League player in him but I didn't think it would be as quickly as it's happened.

"I thought he would be a Premier League player but, in my view, he's not there yet, he needs to play 100 games for that. It's very easy to play a couple of games and say 'I'm a Premier League player'. The fatherly instinct in me says 'not yet' but he's on his way."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
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4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0

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