Neal Maupay scored 25 goals in the Championship for Brentford this season, and that type of record doesn’t go unnoticed.
Promotion winners Sheffield United and Aston Villa are both interested in making the Frenchman their main striker, which means Maupay may have a decision on his hands should the two meet Brentford’s asking price.
The 22-year-old was signed for Brentford in the summer of 2017 by then manager Dean Smith, and now that he is at Villa, Maupay could be persuaded by the prospect of reuniting with a manager whom he knows and trusts.
But should he?
Yes, Aston Villa are the bigger club and he would prosper by partnering up with the likes of Jack Grealish and John McGinn, and it could be argued that of the two Villa are more likely to secure safety in the Premier League.
Dean Smith knows what suits Maupay and could build his attack around him, but he would have a huge weight on his shoulders if he was the focal point and if he endured a goal drought – particularly at the start of the season – then fan frustration could grow and his confidence could take a knock.
Sheffield Untied, on the other hand, do not have the same pressure on them. The 3-5-2 system which Chris Wilder favours would also allow him a strike partner up-top, thereby sharing goal scoring responsibilities and guaranteeing that Maupay wouldn’t be too isolated up front.
Furthermore, the Bees man would love to play for a manager like Wilder, who clearly gets the best out of his players – and his strikers. At the beginning of this season not many would have thought that a strike partnership of Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick would have fired the Blades to promotion, yet they scored 38 goals between them in the league.
Maupay has every right to be confident in his ability to make the step up, and he would likely continue to score goals in the Premiership whichever club he chooses, should he get that choice.