‘I believe in my ability... I am here to make us stronger’ – Bennetts itching for full Town debut
Ipswich Town new boy Keanan Bennetts is confident he can bring goals and assists to the team.
The 21-year-old winger moved from Tottenham to five-time Bundesliga champions Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee of around £2m back in 2018, signing a five-year contract, but he’s made just one brief senior appearance for their first team.
He joined the Blues on a season-long loan at the start of this month and has already caught the eye with some direct-running during three cameo appearances against Blackpool, Accrington and Doncaster.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s second versus third League One clash match at Lincoln, he said: “Whenever I get the chance to start a game I’ll leave it all out there. There are a lot of games coming up and you just have to be sure you are ready to play to the same standard as the boys have been playing so far this season.
“They have set a high standard but if you have genuine aspirations to claim a place in the side you have to at least match that standard.”
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He continued: “It will be important for me to chip in with goals and assists when I do play. I see that as part of the job description.
“I see myself as a winger and I feel comfortable on either side of the pitch. I believe in myself and my ability. I like to take people on, dominate in one-v-one situations, be dynamic and use my pace to come in off the wing or go outside and put nice crosses in.
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“I like to be involved and try to get the fans off their seats. Above all, I like to score goals and create chances for others. That’s what I aspire to in every game, to make the difference and be a positive player on the pitch.”
He added: “The manager (Paul Lambert) has said he wants me to express myself and show the ability I have. He has told me to take the opportunity when it comes and that’s what I aim to do. I am here to help the team and to make us stronger.
“We have a very strong squad with a lot of good players, which I don’t think should be underestimated for a second, and I’m grateful and happy that the manager trusts me to join it.
“My job now is to show myself in a positive light and demonstrate that I have something to offer.”
Reflecting on his move to Germany, he said: “I wouldn’t say it was a big call going there. I’m half-German (his mother’s side of the family) so I grew up watching the football there and it had a real pull for me. When I received the offer it was hard to say no to it.
“It’s difficult to gauge my time in a positive light or a fair light because of the problems I had with injuries. If I went through the list of injuries that I suffered it wouldn’t be nice.
“I had the trust of the board and the sporting director, I was very comfortable with the environment and the rest of the boys, and the plan was to play. I couldn’t tell you how close I was to playing regularly in the first team but I was in the squad and in and around the first team.
“It might not have gone to plan, but it’s important not to dwell on things. I don’t live with regrets. It was an important step in my career and something that I’ve learned from.
“This season is important for me because it’s the present. All I can focus on is the next seven or eight months to really push on. I need to get back on track first and then think about what’s next for me. Right now I’m only focusing on one thing and that’s trying to play my way into the Ipswich side.
“It’s best to just try to get on with it and get yourself back to where you should be by playing again and getting your name out there.
“What I always say is that it comes down to the individual. When I had the opportunity of joining Ipswich presented to me it was a great chance to join a massive club with a rich history. I was enticed by the idea of being an Ipswich player. That’s my present.”
Born in London, Bennetts has a German mother and he represented them at Under-15 level before switching to England and representing them from U16 to U19 level.
“I played alongside Andre (Dozzell) a few times and he actually got the assist for my second England goal,” said Bennetts. “He’s a great player and I enjoy being with him, both on and off the pitch. He’s fun to be around and I think it’s important to build connections like that early doors.
“If you’re friends off the pitch it means you’re going to be as comfortable as possible when you’re on it. Andre and a lot of the other boys have been really good with me so hopefully we can build on that when we’re together on the pitch.”