Has there ever been a less contentious and fan-enraging transfer of a top striker in Brentford Football Club’s history than Ollie Watkins’?

In days gone by there would have been uproar from supporters that the previous season’s leading scorer had been shipped off to pastures new… another in a long line of players who had to head off to a bigger club to fulfill their potential, rather than stay and help build Brentford. However, in recent years, we have become used to the perennial churn, as well as increasingly confident that the men in charge of recruitment are able to replace and replenish.

It also wasn’t long ago that some sections of the fan-base were accusing the Directors of Football of ‘robbing a living’… of having no idea what they were doing… questioning the ‘mumbo-jumbo’ methods employed to identify players from around the globe… but year on year we have grown as a club, even when selling our prized assets, and we almost don’t blink when a player is sold for almost £30m.  THIRTY MILLION EFFING QUID!

True, Aston Villa have got themselves one hell of a player… but Brentford stood firm and true to their valuation of one of the best post-war players to have pulled on the red and white shirt…  we will not only miss Ollie as a player, we will miss him as a person to. Fact is, nobody had a bad word to say about the lad and he will no doubt get a wonderful reception when we play against him in the Premiership in the not too distant future.

The fact that Ivan Toney had already been brought in to bolster the front line certainly helped avert any fears – replace before you sell hasn’t always been the case at the club – not by a long stretch. So, with the new season just hours away, there are only question marks hanging over two other players, which seems very manageable in the circumstances.

As well as Watkins’ move, we discussed the situation regarding David Raya and Said Benrahma on this week’s Pride of West London Beesotted Podcast… but with so many variables it looks unlikely Raya and Said will play in the new season curtain raiser at Birmingham this Saturday. But again, the calmness that surrounds the club is refreshing and helps boost confidence that we will not be held to ransom and that we are pushing for promotion again.

Whether Ivan Toney can hit the ground running and provide a seamless solution to the undoubted loss of Watkins, only time will tell, but the statistics point to another prolific assassin in front of goal – one that is more than capable of scoring 20-plus goals during 2020/21 with the quality supply of passes and crosses that will be served up for him.

Ollie Watkins heads to Aston Villa with our blessing… he played his heart out for Brentford. He not only entertained and excited those lucky enough to see him play for the Bees – he also helped ensure our club continues to be sustainable for the foreseeable future and I am genuinely exited to see the players his mammoth transfer fee will help secure.

Good luck Ollie – Brentford fans wish you all the best for a fantastic future.

Dave Lane