Millwall defender Alex Pearce has hailed former Derby County forward Mason Bennett brilliant while claiming he has become a senior figure with the Lions, Newsatden report.

Bennett came through the youth system at Derby.

The forward became the Rams’ youngest ever debutant, featuring at just 15 years of age in a Championship encounter with Middlesbrough under the guidance of Nigel Clough.

Bennett later broke through to the senior squad at Pride Park and became a popular figure during Frank Lampard’s season in charge, starting the playoff final defeat.

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The 24-year-old, however, drew controversy as he was involved in the drink-driving case which saw Richard Keogh dismissed soon after following a season-ending injury.

Bennett later joined Millwall on loan, before moving to the Lions permanently last summer. The change of scene has done him good, with Pearce praising his impact.

“Mason’s been brilliant. I think he’s had a real standout season in his career. It’s the most he’s ever scored in a season. He really stepped up to the plate. He’s a senior player in our dressing room now, he’s played a lot of games, he’s been around a long time. He feels really part of it here and he’s a key player for us, him and Jed have formed a great partnership up front. They both seem to dovetail off each other really, really well,” Pearce explained.

Bennett has just had his most productive season of his career, starting a career-high 29 Championship games and posting six goals and one assist.

Because he made his debut at 15, it seems like Bennett has been around for ages.

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It’s easy to forget the forward is just 24, and he still has his best years ahead of him with Millwall hopeful he can grow into a top Championship player while at The Den.

Bennett can operate out wide or through the middle. He has pace and power.

Derby, ironically, are now short on options in the final third and it’s arguable Bennett would be a regular at Pride Park now had he not burned his bridges with the club.

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