- Premier League
- EFL Championship
- Other Top Clubs
- Scout Reports
Although perhaps a surprise to some, especially in Wales it seems, Cardiff City’s €1.25m rated left-back Joe Bennett has been linked this week with a move to the Bluebirds’ fellow Championship side Fulham. The West Londoners want Bennett to replace another former Cardiff man Scott Malone who moved to Huddersfield Town for Premier League football.
As mentioned in previous pieces here, I found it a surprise that the club didn’t look to replace Malone sooner, in order to allow huge talent Ryan Sessegnon to play further forward. The 17-year-old has been filling in at left-back in the early days of the season but will surely be of more use on the left of a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, behind the striker.
The general feeling among Cardiff fans is that Bennett won’t move to London, given that he has a settled place in the Bluebirds’ team. However, given the fact that Sessegnon wants to move forward, this would also be the case at Craven Cottage.
Bennett was substituted in Cardiff’s 3-0 win against Aston Villa at the weekend but his injury is not serious and a move could be on the cards at some point this week. Do Fulham really need Bennett’s services though? I’d say it’s a definite yes and the sooner the better.
Despite the pleasant surprise of the club retaining Tom Cairney and Sessegnon, as well as getting Chelsea men Lucas Piazon and Tomas Kalas to return, they haven’t really significantly added to the squad which just about managed to sneak into the play-off places last season. So letting Malone go without a replacement seems daft.
Malone was rated as perhaps the best left-back in the division last time, certainly the best attacking one anyway, and that allowed Sessegnon to pursue some attacking options when he broke into the team on a regular basis in the final part of the campaign.
Sessegnon’s defensive abilities are not what Malone’s were, yet the attacking prowess of Jokanovic’s other left-sided options are not a patch on the youngster’s and so two positions have been weakened as it stands now. Getting a player like Bennett is exactly the right thing to do and so if I were a Cardiff fan, I’d be genuinely worried now.
The former Middlesbrough, Brighton and Aston Villa man has come of age now in this league and made 23 starts in the division last term. His 3 goals in that time will no doubt have played a part in the Fulham boss taking a liking to him and he should slot in really well.