Football: Ex-Town skipper Bennett's delight at Canaries call
FORMER Grimsby Town skipper Ryan Bennett is relishing the chance to play top-flight football for the first time with Norwich City following his deadline-day switch from Peterborough United.
The 21-year-old joined the Canaries ahead of Swansea City for a fee believed to be in excess of £3-million – with Town's sell-on clause pocketing them at least £½-million from the deal.
And while he admits it was a wrench to leave London Road the England Under-21 international, who was handed his senior chance by Town after being ditched by the Canaries' rivals Ipswich, is excited about the opportunity of playing in the Premier League.
For the next month, however, he is back on loan at the Posh.
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Bennett, pictured, said: "It is a good feeling and it has not sunk in yet.
"I am back at Peterborough and I will continue to play as I have been.
"I will not try to think about the move I have got. I needed to play for the next month.
"Swansea were interested. I had to make my way down there for an 11pm deadline.
"We got to Windsor and got the phone call to turn around. That is what happened."
Bennett has been watched by a number of high-profile clubs after a successful season at London Road, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
But it was Norwich who clinched a deal late last Tuesday.
Canaries boss Paul Lambert who believes he has signed a youngster with great potential.
He added: "I'm delighted we have signed Ryan. He's made a bright start to his career at Grimsby and Peterborough; he's an England Under-21 international and he's got so much potential.
"He can play, he's got great vision, he's comfortable on the ball, and he's a good age too.
"He'll be staying at Peterborough initially but will join us in time to be available for the Stoke game, and when he does come in he will provide more competition for places in defence, which is something you want to have right throughout the squad.
"I'm really pleased the deal has been done."
Peterborough were naturally disappointed to lose Bennett's services despite receiving what is reported as their biggest ever transfer fee for the ex-Town centre-back.
But chairman Darragh MacAnthony says it was a dream move Bennett couldn't turn down.
He said: "We knew when we signed Ryan from Grimsby that we were getting a player with fantastic potential and that is why we paid the money we did at the time.
"He has proved to be a superb signing and there have been Premier League scouts watching him at every game this season.
"Myself and the gaffer (Darren Ferguson) had very little choice in the matter after the player informed us he wanted to leave for a Premier League club and didn't want the club to stand in his way.
"I have also always stated that I would never stand in a player's way should a Premier League club come in for them and offer us a heavy transfer fee at the same time.
"To think only 12 months ago, I was asked to send Ryan out on loan or to move him on and now he is moving to a top-12 Premier League club smashing our existing transfer record by a long way."