First-team my priority - Bennett
Joe Bennett is eyeing a first-team spot at Aston Villa after joining from Middlesbrough on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
The 22-year-old, who came through the Boro youth academy, completed his move to Villa Park after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee, believed to be around the £2.5million mark, on Wednesday afternoon. And the England Under-21 international, who has not played in the Boro first-team this season due to a slight injury, is delighted to be given a chance at playing Premier League football with Paul Lambert's men. He told the club's website: "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. "I am very grateful to get this opportunity and I'm very grateful to the Middlesbrough chairman, Mr. Gibson, all of the Middlesbrough staff and fans and, particularly, Tony Mowbray for giving me the opportunity to prove my ability. "I am fully focused now on my career here at Villa and I'm really eager to get started. "My priority will be to impress the manager and gain a place in the starting XI. It will be a special moment when I pull on the claret and blue shirt for the first time. "I'm determined to earn the respect of my team-mates and the Aston Villa supporters. I know it's going to be really exciting here in the years ahead and I really want to play my part." Lambert added: "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."