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As the transfer window slammed shut, Brentford lodged only two major signings after being in the hunt of a slew of players to fill a number of positions. Billy The Bee Grant ( and Dave Laney Lane () discussed the window on the Transfer Deadline podcast (link below) and gave their reasons as to why one is comfortable with the dealings done by the Bees this window and the other is underwhelmed.

Dave Lane – Underwhelmed

I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t hugely excited by the confirmation of Christian Eriksen’s arrival on deadline day – his signature was the global good news story of the window – it has the whole footballing world buzzing. I’ve spoken at length about my hopes and fears on the deadline day podcast, but to echo those sentiments here, I have a mixture of hopes and fears.

Let’s not kid ourselves, we wouldn’t be signing Eriksen if it hadn’t been for his awful near-death incident back in the Euros, but equally, Brentford have done brilliantly to secure his signature, even under this unique circumstances… it is a miracle both medically and in terms of the profile it gives our club. Ultimately, it’ll be minutes on the pitch that will judge it a success or otherwise.

I have no doubt at at all that he will fall in love with little old Brentford we all wish the great Dane a successful time in West London – he’ll be given a warm reception everywhere we go and if we get just one point per every thousand words that are written about him from now until the end of the season we will have no worries about relegation what-so-ever.

However, like many Brentford fans out there, I expected more – perhaps not in terms of the magnitude of out transfer signings, but certainly in the numbers of players in. In my opinion we enter the month of February weaker as a unit than we went Into it. I’m not throwing my toys out of the pram, but there are two massive areas of concern in my eyes.

Firstly, cover for Rico Henry at left-back, and after Marcus Forss’ loan deal to Hull, cover ups top if injury or Covid hit again. Not bringing in replacements, even on loan, leaves us short of options, and as we did last season, it can be argued we have taken too big a gamble.

There is certainly a lot of weight resting on the shoulders of Sergi Canos and Mads Bech Sorensen who will be asked to cover the left back berths in emergencies, and probably as centre forward if Ivan or Bryan get crocked. A bit too skin of out teeth if you ask me.

Billy Grant – Comfortable

Ask me before the window what position would I most want us to fill and I would have told you ‘tricky winger’. Since Said Benrahma left Brentford, we have missed that player who could pull a little bit of magic out of his hat and disrupt defences at will whenever we come up against a sticky wicket.

So the news that the Bees were chasing the likes of Brennan Johnson, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Lewis Keane Potter made me very hopeful for this window.

Add to that, the news that we were in for both a left back and a right back, I was thinking we could be in for a right treat this second half of the season.

In the end ‘all’ we got over the line was attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen and sub to the sub keeper Jonas Lossl.

So am I disappointed?

No not really


This season I’ve massively tempered my expectation. After having a number of storming seasons in The Championship, my expectation – like most Bees fans – was sky high. 

I expected us to go up in the BMW season and saw us fail miserably at Wembley in the playoff final. My expectations were probably slightly lower the season after as a result of the bruising the previous playoff loss inflicted.

So this season, after seeing how the likes of Fulham and West Brom had fared in previous seasons, I settled myself for a cliched ‘happy to finish 17th’ at the start of the season. Needless to say, our great start and brilliant football in August and September had me quickly looking to greater heights.  But the reality of this division brought me back down to earth with once again with survival being the key once again for Brentford this season.

What does survival mean? Our players gaining an invaluable year’s experience in The Premier League with and the club gets another £100m in the coffers to strengthen.

So what about these new signings? Why didn’t they come in?

The first thing I have to say is Christian Eriksen.

How many teams would love to have signed this player. If you check out this week’s podcast (link above), Ricky from Spurs pulls no punches in telling us what a great signing he is for the club – even if he is only half the player he was before injury.

And the rest of the signings I hear you ask?

They didn’t happen because we have – apparently – a certain benchmark that we won’t go below when it comes to signing players. Any player coming in has to improve the team.

There is no two ways that the club – being incredibly stats-based – would not have looked at our probability of relegation going into this window and then made transfer decisions accordingly.

Brentford’s 8% chance of relegation weighing up against the Norwich, Watford and Newcastle who each weighed in at over 60% chance of relegation must have had some weight on where Benham – a betting man – is going to put his money.

That doesn’t mean we’re safe.

Not at all.

But we’re going to have to massively nosedive in form – and the bottom teams are going to have an uncharacteristic about-turn – to not get the three to four wins needed between now and the end of May which would see us probably relegated.

We are ‘finger in the dam’ at the moment and grinding out results at the best of times. But I really believe we can do it. Especially with the likes of Raya and Josh DaSilva hopefully back in the squad by April. They will be like new signings.

And this is where my ultimate confidence comes from. 

I think, even with our patchwork side, we have enough to eek out (note I didn’t stay style out)  enough results to keep us up

I believe we will. And that isn’t rose tinted either. . 

And with that in mind, as disappointing as it was we didn’t sign the players we wanted, I think we have done the right thing not bringing in just anyone because we failed to get our targets. 

We’re in a much better position waiting until summer to bring in the right player when the market is not as bonkers.

After months of negotiation, we were hit with ‘Not for Sale’ for all three attacking players we had our eyes on  – Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest), Mykhaylo Mudryk  (Shakhtar Donetsk) and Keane Lewis-Potter (Hull).


At Beesotted, we’ve been watching the Brennan Johnson deal from day one when an American MLS team approached Forest with a £2m valuation back in the summer. Brentford then came in for bigger offer with the bid getting more serious this window.

Things were starting to heat up then there was an alleged transfer authorisation followed by a swift about-turn. This sparked outrage amongst the Forest fanbase for a wee while (they thought Johnson was sold) before a “He’s not for sale” sign was put above his head a few days before the window calming everyone down – including Steve Cooper.

His value had gone up ten times from that initial MLS enquiry and all the hype around him had even got new moneybags, Newcastle United, sniffing around which helped to push his value up.

Should Brentford have done the very thing people have been questioning Derby County and Championship Aston Villa of doing? Just throwing money at players over and above their rated value? 

It’s not my money so to be honest, I can say whatever I want but that may not be the same answer as the club’s. 

In my opinion, if it took an extra £1m or even £2m of money that wasn’t my own to get the deal over the line, bearing in mind we’ve had a big W with the deals we have done in the past few years, I would have said yes lets do it. 

But from what I have gathered, this was not a simple deal to get over the line so – assuming Forest’s 5% chance of promotion is spot on – we will go again in the summer I guess.

Winger Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk was another one that didn’t quite happen. The player was open to a move to the UK but did not want to force a transfer and as long as Brentford agreed a deal with Shakhtar, he was open to talks.

Brentford’s edged their way up to a bid of around €15m. Shakhtar was looking at €20m which was a healthy price for a kid still in development which could go either way. In the end the deal stalled as the Ukranians decided he wasn’t for sale.

We also put in an offer for US International left back George Bello who plays for MLS side Atlanta FC. In the end, he opted to sign for Arminia Bielefeld who currently sit two points off the relegation zone in the German Bundesliga.

Interestingly Arminia ranks around the Watford/Newcastle mark in the international ‘Benham League’ (the league which pits ALL the teams together in on big stats league table), 30 places below Brentford. I can only deduce that he went to Germany because Arminia guaranteed him gametime. Whereas at Brentford, he would have been more of an understudy to Rico Henry.

And right back. That was the position we were all expecting a big move. We had Vanderson lined up to come over from Brazil this window for around €10m but we were usurped by Monaco who are quite simply a bigger fish than Brentford at this present time.

As soon as Monaco was subbed onto the pitch, Brentford knew it was game over. We would find it hard to match their status, finance and the fact that they finished top of their respective table in the Europa League meaning Vanderson would step straight into playing European football.

As for loans. We talked about this on the podcast. Talking to various people at the club after the window shut, they didn’t feel there were any affordable loans which were better than what we already had in-house so we passed.

Liverpool recently loaned £12m-rated Neco Williams to Fulham. We did not consider him a loan option. Traditionally, Liverpool’s loan fees are quite expensive.  Does the fact that he went to The Championship mean that he isn’t currently a massive upgrade on our young standby players who have already played a couple of years Championship football and are currently playing Premier League football?

Who knows?

As for the outgoings. The long and the short of it. Players like Forss and Bidstrup need gametime. It’s a big balance up between having a load of injury or covid cases which means you are left short of stand-in players. And having a player sitting on the bench week in and week out getting no game time.

Mixing and matching isn’t great. But we’ve done it before and it’s worked for us. And I really do believe Marcus Forss will come back a better player if he can go to Hull, play every week and bang in 10 goals – coming back to us fighting for a first team place.

So the long and the short of it.

As long as we stay up, I’m happy.

Yes I would love to win more.

Yes I would love to finish closer to 10th than 17th.

But at the moment, I do also quite like the unpredictability of it all.

We could easily lose to a bottom of the table team one week then raise our game and nick three points from a European Place-chasing team the following week.

So how will this all pan out?

How will we know if this was an OK or a bad window for Brentford?

We’ll see come May 21st.