Michael Johnston (@michaeljj___) gives the lowdown on all the activity in and around Griffin Park this week
FA Cup Fourth Round Draw
After a victory against Oxford in the FA Cup, Brentford have been drawn away to fellow Bees, Barnet, in the fourth round. Barnet are the last non-league club in the competition and will look to progress to the next round after dumping out championship high-flyers, Sheffield United, last weekend.
The game is set to played on Monday 28th January with BT Sport choosing the clash for live coverage. Although some Barnet players were thoroughly disappointed with drawing Brentford at home, it’ll be a test for both teams, whilst offering a great chance to progress to the next round.
“Better than City away”, as Thomas Frank said it in his press conference yesterday.
Tickets are £20 adults, £13 concessions and £5 U17s.
Josh Clarke is on his way out of Brentford on a season-long to League One outfit, Burton Albion, who were thumped 9-0 by Manchester City on Wednesday night. The 26-year old full back has failed to break into the first team under Thomas Frank, making only three appearances this season, with Moses Odubajo and Henrik Dalsaard in front of him in the pecking order.
Another player on his way out is midfielder, Nico Yennaris.
Beijing Guoan are closing on a ‘£4.5million plus add-ons’ deal for Yennaris. He will be classed as a homegrown player due to his Chinese heritage and therefore will not affect the Chinese Super League club’s move for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Moussa Dembele.
Yennaris has made 20 appearances this season, but has struggled to maintain a consistent run in Brentford’s midfield. The 25-year old will leave Griffin Park having made 157 appearances, netting 12 times.
In other news, transfer speculation has surrounded Brentford in the past week with Bees top-scorer, Neal Maupay being targeted by a number of Championship and Premier League clubs.
Huddersfield are the latest club reported to have shown an interest, whilst Aston Villa and Middlesboro are also said to be monitoring the Frenchman, who has been valued at £20million plus by Brentford.
This may all be agent talk or fuelled by the clickbait press – something that regularly happens in a transfer window in an attempt to increase the profile of any hot property player.
No formal bids have been received as of yet, but according to the clickbait press, Maupay is certainly a wanted man.
There has also been some speculation surrounding Bees captain Romaine Sawyers according to certain press outlets.
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is apparently keen to work with Sawyers again after leaving Brentford a couple of months ago.
Villa are also said to be keeping tabs on Yoann Barbet who has just entered the last 6 months of his contract at Griffin Park.
Relegation-threatened, Ipswich Town, are reported to be showing interest in Bees midfielder, Alan Judge.
Judge, having only made 4 championship starts this season, has failed to get a consistent run in the starting eleven, making 21 appearances off the bench.
The Irishman is out of contract in the summer and if the Blues were to make an approach, it is understood it will be on a loan until the end of the season.
To get up to date with all the transfer gossip surrounding the Bees, check this week’s Beesotted Podcast (below).
Ex-Bees touted for high profile transfer moves
James Tarkowski could be on his way out of Burnley according to reports. Liverpool are said to be interested in the 26-year old following Dejan Lovren being added to their injury list.
With Virgil Van Dijk being the only fully fit centre back at the club, the addition of ex-bee Tarkowski would be a huge boost to Liverpool’s title challenge.
Burnley have slapped a £50million price tag on the England international meaning Brentford will get a hefty cut of the fee, should the transfer go ahead through the various clauses from his previous transfer to Burnley being activated (Burnley staying up, senior England call-up, general sell on fee etc.)
Another ex-bee tipped for big move is Manchester United Youth Team forward, Joshua Bohui. The teenager is out of contract at the end of the season and the likes of Barcelona and Monaco are reported to be lining up offers.
United plucked him from the Bees academy in 2016. His transfer to the Reds was controversial. With Boshui being part of the Brentford academy since the age of 11, he failed to sign a new contract at the age of 17 – which would have bound him to Brentford under a professional contact – and instead opted to join Manchester United.
United’s poaching of Bohui – where the Bees were given we believe a few hundred thousand pounds compensation – is thought to be a huge factor in the escaping of the academy and the formation of the Brentford B team.
As all players in Brentford B team are over 17 years old, they are bound to full players contracts and cannot be wooed away by so called bigger sides unless the club is compensated properly. Chris Mepham is prime example. As opposed to a couple of hundred thousand pounds compensation, Brentford turned down over £10m for the prodigy only a few months after he had made his first team debut.
If Bohui was to leave United, he would be following the steps of Jadon Sancho and Brahim Diaz who have left Manchester City to pursue first team football in Europe.
Brentford B progress to Middlesex FA Cup semi-finals
Joe Hardy and Theo Archibald were on target for the B Team as they beat Wealdstone at Grosvenor Vale. Archibald and Reece Cole were recalled to the squad after returning from their respective loan spells at Forest Green Rovers and Maidenhead United.
The deadlock was broken by Hardy in the 3rd minute taking his tally for the season to 20; Archibald added a second with 20minutes to go, securing Brentford’s place in the semi final.
Earlier in the week, B Team winger Kolbeinn Finnsson was called up to the senior Iceland National Team, becoming one of the first Brentford B players to be graduated into a senior national team. Finnsson, and the rest of the squad, travelled to Germany this morning to prepare for tomorrow’s meeting with a Bayern Munich youth team.
Brentford B take on Wingate and Finchley in the London Senior Cup next Tuesday (15th January) at the Harry Abrahams Stadium, Summers Lane, Finchley, London N12 0PD. Kick off is 7.45pm.
Stoke City preview
The Bees return to league action on Saturday welcoming Stoke City to Griffin Park. Stoke, having parted company with Gary Rowett in the week, will look to get off to a winning start under the new management of Nathan Jones.
The Potters come to London without a win in four but currently sit four places ahead of the Bees. Ryan Woods is set to make his first visit back to Griffin Park after his loan spell at Stoke was made permanent in a deal said to be worth £7-8million.
Check out the Stoke City preview by Ian Westbrooke including pub guide right here (click)
Thomas Frank has alluded to a fully fit squad, bar the long-term injuries of Lewis Macleod and Emiliano Marcondes. Marcus Forss is back in full training, as is Chris Mepham; perhaps a place in the starting eleven may come too early for Mepham, but the return of the Welshman will surely give Frank a selection headache ahead of tomorrow’s clash.
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