Sunderland legend Bennett hails McClean progress: Just like Tottenham's Bale
The former defender says the Republic of Ireland international will become even more dangerous as he continues to adapt to the Barclays Premier League.
"People often say that when you throw young lads in, they don't show any nerves and James has definitely been a real breath of fresh air," Bennett told safc.com.
"He's an old-fashioned winger and you don't see many of them about these days. With the new formations being used, you might get wing-backs or midfielders who drift wide, but out-and-out wingers are rare.
"I have to go back many years to think of someone like him, but if I had to draw a modern comparison I'd say Gareth Bale.
"Like James, Gareth likes to go down the outside and doesn't always beat a man but whips in quality balls.
"Teams are aware of James' threat now and hopefully he can develop, get stronger and understand the game a little bit more.
"But the one thing you don't want to take out of him is that raw talent."