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Gary Gardner joins Sheffield Wednesday

12 February 2014

Sheffield Wednesday have signed Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner on an emergency loan deal.

Gardner will stay with the Owls until Wednesday 12 March.

The 22-year-old rose up through the ranks at Villa Park where he caught the eye with a string of outstanding performances for the Villa Under-18s and reserves.

Such was the midfielder’s form and impressive goal tally for the second string, Gardner was soon propelled to first team duty.

En route to the Villa first team squad, Gardner was a regular on the scoresheet for the reserves and also finished as the club’s top scorer in the NextGen Series, where he netted six times in the prestigious Under-19 tournament.

A stunning hat-trick in Villa's 3-0 win over Ajax was perhaps the standout moment of his campaign.

In order to gain valuable first team experience, Gardner joined Coventry on loan in November 2011 and scored on his Championship debut in a 2-1 defeat to Brighton.

In the same month, Gardner scored twice for England Under-21s to help Stuart Pearce's team to a win over Iceland.

The influential midfield man made four appearances for the Sky Blues before returning to Villa Park.

Gardner then made his Premier League debut for Villa against Chelsea on 31 December 2011 and has made 18 appearances to date for the West Midlands club.

Injury disrupted the midfielder’s 2012/13 campaign, but Gardner made his return to first team action as an unused substitute against Chelsea in May 2013 and made his full comeback on the final day against Wigan.

The 22-year-old will be eligible for the Owls’ FA Cup fifth round clash with Charlton and will take squad number 40 during his loan spell.

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