Joe Bennett, despite an impressive preseason, appears to be the third choice left back under Roberto Di Matteo and has decided to find a new club. With Jordan Amavi waiting in the wings to return to the first team and Aly Cissokho getting the nod on Sunday afternoon over Bennett, prospects for playing time look dim for the 26-year-old Englishman. Bennett spent last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and both parties are reportedly interested in making that move permanent. According to the Birmingham Mail, Bennett is having a medical today and will be an Owl imminently.
Bennett has never really broken into Villa's first team and his frustration with this fact is understandable, but Di Matteo's willingness to let him leave so easily is puzzling. Jordan Amavi is on the recovery from a serious injury for which he is very vulnerable to re-injury, and Aly Cissokho has failed to offer next to anything going forward since donning a Villa shirt.
Cissokho also offers grim prospects for the future, unlike Bennett who could be a late bloomer. He had a good preseason, showed skill striking set pieces, and deserves a chance in the team. But he probably won't get it.
Nonetheless, if Di Matteo sees his departure as an effort to trim down the excesses of the squad and focus more on the core he believes can lead Villa back to the Premier League, with that I cannot argue.