At the end of the 2018 January transfer window, Notts County brought in Mason Bennett on loan from Derby County with Kevin Nolan looking to bolster his options up front as the club aimed for League 1 promotion.
And being one of Derby’s most promising youth prospects in recent years, the 22-year-old’s arrival at Meadow Lane was one that had some supporters buzzing.
Buzzing about the news been talking to a Derby fan he says he is class! Cheers Alan #COYP
— NCFC Jam (@JamesBillz) January 31, 2018
As a lover of football, that is seriously a good bit of business!! Fresh legs and a hunger for goals, what a team needs in that division! Hope a good partnership with Grant entails!
— Donna Brand (@Dbrand81) January 31, 2018
Good addition big al
— Reece Swain (@ReeceSwain) 31 January 2018
Happy with that ! Good addition to squad.
— David Kosylo (@ma4pie) January 31, 2018
Welcome to @Official_NCFC Mason! Now get banging those goals in to take us up!
— Chris Jordan (@chriswjordan) January 31, 2018
Well done again excellent work come on you pies Saturday wont come quick enough bringing 2 Derby fans with me
— patrick devaney (@patsbluesbar) February 1, 2018
— Skogsy (@ColinJCraig) January 31, 2018
A forward who possesses a lot of pace, strength and overall power, Bennett instantly looked like a shrewd acquisition brought in by owner Alan Hardy after netting on his debut in a 4-1 win over Crewe Alexandra.
However, unfortunately for Hardy and Bennett, that was to be the highlight of the former England U19 international’s very short stint at Meadow Lane after he picked up a serious hamstring injury that would see him return to his parent club Derby earlier than planned in a development that left Nolan in an unfavourable predicament.
“You only have to look at the impact Mason had when he came on against Crewe, got his goal and hit the bar,” Nolan told Nottingham Live following Bennett’s injury. “He gave us something different to what we didn’t have. He is such a quality player and for his injury to happen in his first full start for us was a devastating blow.
“If we had him, we would have been in a lot better place because of the quality I would have had at my disposal. He gave us that lightning pace, and he was clever with it. He could carry the ball too and he was our main target in January.”
In the end, Notts County missed out on promotion after being knocked out by Coventry City in the League 2 play-offs, though things could have ended so differently if Bennett had not picked up that injury.