Gardner coup for Coventry

PA Sport
Gary Gardner
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Gary Gardner

Coventry have completed the month-long loan capture of highly-rated Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner.

The 19-year-old, younger brother of Sunderland midfielder Craig - who also came through the ranks at Villa Park, is one of the hottest talents on Alex McLeish's books despite not yet having made a first-team appearance for the Premier League club.

Gardner stepped off the bench to bag a brace for England's Under-21s against Iceland earlier this month and on Tuesday night grabbed a hat-trick for Villa against Ajax in the NextGen Under-19 tournament, booking the club's place in the quarter-finals.

Sky Blues boss Andy Thorn had been looking to bolster his ranks with an experienced loan signing but the chance to take Gardner from their midlands neighbours proved too good an opportunity.

"Gary is a player we have been looking at for a while and we are delighted to bring him to the club," Thorn told City's official website, www.ccfc.co.uk. "He is very creative and has a lot of quality on the ball as well as experience at international level.

"We hope this loan move will prove mutually beneficial because it will give Gary great experience of football at Championship level and will bolster our squad as we enter a busy period of fixtures."

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