The New Year is upon us and the transfer window open, but what do Thomas Frank and Brentford need to be wary of this month?
Christmas has been and gone, the New Year celebrated, and now it’s time for some transfers.
Brentford are flying high in 3rd-place of the Championship table, and looking good for a top-six spot, if not automatic promotion to the Premier League.
It’d coincide with the opening of their new stadium but there’s still plenty of football for Brentford to play if they want to open their new Brentford Community Stadium with the bliss of Premier League football, and this month’s dealings could prove pivotal in making that happen.
It’s not so much players coming in but rather players going out. Their best players have been linked with moves up to the Premier League in the first-half of the season, Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma both attracting top-flight clubs.
So it’s important for Brentford to be smart with their players and money this month, and here we take a look at two transfer mistakes that they must avoid through January:
Letting star players go with promotion so close
An obvious one, and easier said than done, but if the Premier League is to dawn upon Brentford next season then they simply have to keep both Watkins and Benrahma.
Watkins, 23, has scored 17 goals in 26 Championship appearances this season and has made himself a target of Chris Wilder at Sheffield United.
The rumours initially circulated back in September and have since died down.
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Benrahma, however, has been touted with a move to Aston Villa, to link up with former Bees boss Dean Smith. These rumours are much fresher than Watkins to United and probably more likely to go through than the other.
The lure of Premier League football is rejected by few but Brentford are in a very exciting position right now, and keeping hold of their star players should be easier than before.
Deviate from recruitment policy
Brentford have adopted a very distinct recruitment policy in recent seasons, which is young, predominantly Scandinavian players.
Their owner, Matt Benham, is a numbers guy and has overseen great success in Denmark with FC Midtjylland. It’s led to the appointment of a Danish manager, the signing of several Scandi players like Pontus Jansson and Christian Norgaard, and the formation of a European-inspired ‘B team’ set-up, scrapping their previous youth academy.
It’s clearly working for Brentford. It’s an unusual approach for a British team but they’re revolutionising their club, and they need to work hard to stick to that policy. It’s important that Brentford don’t make any ‘panic signings’, and they continue to do their due diligence before they dip into the transfer market.