Ryan Bennett

Ryan Bennett: Get To Know City's Deadline Day Loan Signing

Experienced defender Ryan Bennett joined Leicester City on loan until the end of the 2019/20 season from Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday evening.
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The 29-year-old heads to King Power Stadium after making 19 appearances this term for Wolves, including six outings in the UEFA Europa League, scoring against Crusaders FC in the qualifying stage.

While Çağlar Söyüncü and Jonny Evans have formed one of the most fearsome defensive partnerships in the Premier League this season, Bennett will join the Club to provide essential depth. 

The authoritative centre-back started playing at the age of nine when he and his cousin entered the youth game in Essex, before Bennett was eventually signed up by Ipswich Town in 1996.

It was during his spell at Ipswich where Bennett would learn from the senior professionals in Suffolk, including Titus Bramble, whose conduct and ability had a profound impact on the aspiring defender. 

He would spend 10 years developing through the youth ranks at Portman Road, before Grimsby Town's academy manager, Neil Woods, secured his services for the Cleethorpes club.

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Ryan Bennett
Ryan Bennett

Over a three-year spell with Grimsby, Bennett quickly became known as an exciting prospect for the future.

Bennett was quickly called up to Grimsby's senior side by first team manager Alan Buckley and his debut came as a late substitute during a 2-1 victory over MK Dons in April 2007.

A month later, he became the youngest man to wear the captain's armband for the Mariners, when John McDermott sought him out and handed it over upon being substituted against Lincoln City.

His first goal in professional football, meanwhile, came in the form of a header to seal a 1-1 draw with Notts County at Blundell Park, and he later won the club's Young Player of the Year award in 2007/08.

When former Leicester City player Mike Newell became manager in October 2008, Bennett was formally announced as Grimsby's club captain as the individual awards kept coming his way on the Humber.

At the end of 2009, Bennett was named the Supporters' Player and Young Player of the Year, before signing for Championship side Peterborough United in October of that year.

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Ryan Bennett
Ryan Bennett

The reliable centre-back was a significant figure in Peterborough's promotion-winning campaign.

Initially it was a loan deal, but it became permanent shortly after, with Bennett playing a key role in the Posh's promotion from League 1 back to the second tier via the play-offs in 2011.

The nature of his performances, as well as his professionalism off the field, meant he was linked with several clubs during his spell at London Road Stadium. Norwich City was his next destination. 

While he was initially loaned back to Peterborough, Bennett would go on to make over 100 appearances for Norwich, which included four Premier League campaigns and one promotion-winning season.

Towards the end of his time at Carrow Road, on the other hand, James Maddison joined the Canaries from Coventry City and Bennett has since described the friendship which exists between the pair.

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Ryan Bennett
Ryan Bennett

Bennett helped Norwich enjoy three consecutive seasons in the Premier League.

Upon joining Leicester, the 29-year-old revealed he had discussed the loan move with Maddison and had already received a warm welcome from the England midfielder upon deciding to join City.

However, like Maddison, Bennett soon left Norwich, linking up with Nuno Espírito Santo at Wolverhampton Wanderers, providing vital steel to the Portuguese's defence as they mounted a promotion charge.

He made a total of 33 appearances for the West Midlands side as they roared to the Championship title in 2017/18, scoring a dramatic last-minute winner at Bristol City on 30 December, 2017.

Moments like that endeared Bennett to the Wolves supporters, while his top-flight experience was also vital during the following season as Wolves not only adapted, but thrived, in the Premier League.

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Ryan Bennett
Ryan Bennett

Wolves fans still remember his late winner at Ashton Gate in 2017 fondly.

Bennett made another 40 appearances in all competitions for Espírito Santo's men as they secured a seventh-place finish during their maiden season back in the top flight, qualifying for the Europa League. 

He has made an important contribution to Wolves' 2019/20 season, featuring 11 times in the league, twice in the Carabao Cup and on six occasions in the Europa League, facing the likes of S.C. Braga and Beşiktaş.

Looking at his CV, one inescapable conclusion becomes clear. Whether it was promotion-winning Peterborough, top-flight Norwich, or Europe-chasing Wolves, teams succeed with Bennett in their squad.

Now, the 6ft 2in defender, who credits the last two years as among the best of his career so far, will spend the remainder of the current campaign with the Foxes, currently third in the Premier League.

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Ryan Bennett
Ryan Bennett

A goal in qualifying from Bennett also helped Wolves reach the Europa League group stage last summer.

Outlining his objectives, Bennett admitted he was fully aware of the quality which is at Brendan Rodgers' disposal in defensive areas, but is nonetheless excited to contribute to City's aspirations.

"Obviously the two players who are playing in my position (Çağlar Söyüncü and Jonny Evans) are there to stay really, so it’s going to be tough," he told LCFC TV on Friday evening.

"You come in, work hard every single day and see where that gets you. It’s a journey I’m looking forward to, especially to meet all the lads and get started."

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