Joe Bennett is now fit and ready to find a club in the final eight days of the transfer window and Mick McCarthy revealed his sadness at how the situation has panned out, speaking to WalesOnline.
The 31-year-old left back made 177 appearances for the Bluebirds and could soon be reunited with his former manager Neil Warnock at Middlesbrough, Football League World exclusively reported on Monday.
McCarthy was keen to tie Bennett down to a new deal when he arrived in Welsh capital last season, but a cruelly timed injury got in the way and he is now expected to find new suitors in the coming weeks.
McCarthy said: “I was quite sad about it because I spoke to Benno (Joe Bennett) when I came in, I knew his contract was running out.
“I discussed with him about staying, then injury comes and it changed it all.”
Free agents can be signed past the 31st August transfer deadline and therefore Bennett and a potential new club have a little more time to assess the situation.
Since Hayden Coulson’s loan move to Ipswich Town there does seem to be a vacancy as backup to Marc Bola at the Riverside, time will tell if Neil Warnock wants to utilise the free agent market that has been so fruitful for him in recent years.
Bennett would add much needed second tier and crucially promotion experience to the ranks at Boro. Warnock’s backline is fairly youthful with Dael Fry and Bola such key men in the rearguard, on the training ground Bennett should be a good influence, setting the standards required to achieve the club’s goals this season.
Chances are Bennett would only command a one year deal at second tier level, at 31 he is not going to develop into a more effective full back and with club’s on the whole looking to promote youth, due to the financial difficulties, in this transfer window, blocking a youngsters path to the first team longer-term with a 31-year-old, is not the flavour of the month.