Norwich swoop for Brighton midfielder Elliott Bennett

Elliott Bennett
Bennett started his career at home-town club Wolves

Norwich City have signed Brighton midfielder Elliott Bennett on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

The Canaries had an approach for Bennett rejected in January, which led to the 22-year-old handing in a transfer request.

He played 53 times in all competitions for the League One champions last season, scoring eight goals.

"He is a young and exciting player with plenty of pace," Norwich boss Paul Lambert told the club website.

"He can play in a wide position or in behind the forwards, he's a quick lad and he's got a winning mentality.

"He played his full part in what Brighton achieved last season and that desire to succeed will stand him in good stead here."

A Wolves youth product, Bennett made two appearances for his boyhood club and had to gain experience through loan spells at Crewe and Bury.

In 2009 the Seagulls moved to sign the youngster, initially on a three-year deal.

But after a string of impressive performances at the beginning of the 2010/11 campaign, boss Gus Poyet acted quickly to hand him a new three-and-a-half-year contract in November.

He went on to contribute 17 assists as Brighton won promotion to the Championship.

"It's an unbelievable opportunity for me to fight for a place in a team which will be playing in the Premier League," he said.

"I like the mentality at Norwich City that has seen them get back-to-back promotions and I'm grateful to Paul Lambert for giving me the chance to be part of what's happening at the club.

"I didn't make it through at Wolves, which was my home-town club, and Brighton gave me the opportunity and I'm grateful for that.

"Now I'm just really excited about the chance to try to help Norwich in the Premier League."

Brighton boss Poyet told his club's website: "I thank Elliott for the way he has approached the situation. He had a great opportunity to leave in January.

"He understood how important he was to us and he agreed to stay another six months to help us get out of League One, but now it's impossible for him to turn down because of the offer and the level he is going to play.

"When I came to the club he was seen as just a right winger, but he's also been very impressive playing behind the strikers, playing the shape we played away from home and also in a disciplined role when we were chasing games."

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