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Derby County: Clubs line up to take Bennett on loan

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 06, 2014

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FIVE or six clubs are waiting to take Derby County's Mason Bennett on loan.

Sheffield United would like to add the 18-year-old forward to their squad but that is highly unlikely to happen, as Rams head coach Steve McClaren made clear at the weekend.

McClaren, in an uncharacteristic outburst, expressed his disappointment at the way the proposed double-deal of Kieron Freeman and Bennett to the Blades was handled.

United wanted to sign Freeman in a permanent deal and Bennett on loan, but the move collapsed late last week over Freeman's personal terms.

Bennett has been somewhat unfortunate to be caught in the crossfire but the bottom line remains the same – Bennett is at a stage where he needs first-team football.

He signed a new four-year deal last month and a few eyebrows were raised when McClaren said Bennett was likely to be allowed out on loan.

Surprising? Not really. Loan moves are all part of a young player's football education, an important stage especially if they cannot hold down a regular place at their parent club.

Young players need to taste as much first-team football as possible – as the England national team is discovering – and Bennett will not be a regular starter at Derby this season.

Bennett finds himself behind Johnny Russell, Simon Dawkins and Jamie Ward in the battle for the two wide positions in a 4-3-3 formation.

Derby also believe striker Conor Sammon can operate out wide while new loan signing Leon Best also adds to the attacking options.

First-team coach Paul Simpson has said: "We are very fortunate we have players like Mason but we have got Dawkins, Ward and Russell, and Conor Sammon can do a job in those wide areas as he did last season.

"So it is going to be difficult to get into our team and if the opportunity comes for a player to get first-team football somewhere else, then we will consider it."

As for Bennett, his confidence has been boosted by signing a long-term contract and the fact Derby see him as a part of the club's future.

"Mason is very promising," said Simpson. "He has four years to continue developing and hopefully we will see a lot more from him."

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