Albion loan signing Joe Bennett has been thrown a lifeline by FA Cup finalists Aston Villa.

Tim Sherwood’s arrival as manager at Villa Park has resurrected Bennett’s hopes of a Premier League future with them.

The left-back has been back at Villa training under the watchful eye of Sherwood following his season-long loan with the Seagulls.

Bennett, below, about to enter the last year of his contract with the West Midlands giants, will not be involved against Arsenal at Wembley today but Sherwood has been impressed by what he has seen.

“Joe has done very, very well,” Sherwood said.

“I am now looking forward to seeing him in pre-season.”

Bennett had resigned himself to a future away from Villa Park under ex-boss Paul Lambert after joining Albion.

The 25-year-old was the Seagulls’ most used player in the Championship this season, missing only five matches.

Replacing Bennett in the problem left-back position is the top defensive priority for manager Chris Hughton.

Albion have depended on season-long loan signings in the role for the last three years. Bennett took over from Stephen Ward, who in turn replaced Wayne Bridge.