Brentford stand poised on the precipice of a £58m windfall as the tumblers of two deals for Said Benrahma and David Raya begin to fall into place.
The Bees have always been a club who have perfected the knack of buying low and selling high when it comes to players. Whilst it isn’t a true Billy Bean ‘Moneyball’ approach, there are some similarities between Bean’s adoption of the numbers-based approach used to improve the Oakland As and Brentford’s ethos.
Bean’s rationale was to find players ‘of value’, baseball players other teams may have overlooked as they searched for certain headline characteristics. Brentford do the same, powered by the analytics approach of Matthew Benham, the club’s owner. It has served them well and looks likely to continue to do so.
For instance, they picked up Frenchman Neal Maupay (above) from Saint-Ettiene for £1.8m in July 2017. Two years later, they sold Maupay to Premier League Brighton for £20m. This ‘buy low, sell high’ approach, whereby the player is brought in at low cost to sell for high profit, is something that could pay dividends for the West London club in the coming days.
Striker Ollie Watkins has already moved on from the Bees, Aston Villa digging deep into the club coffers to fund a £28m fee that could rise by a further £5m with add-ons. Yet, two other deals are in the pipeline which could boost Brentford’s funds by a further £30m.
Arsenal are said to be ready to make a second move for shot-stopper David Raya as they look to replace wantaway backup keeper Emiliano Martinez. The Gunners are said to be willing to pay £10m for Raya’s capture. Meanwhile, it emerged last night that Crystal Palace are thought to be ready to pay £20m to take the exciting Said Benrahma to the Premier League.
The above brace of deals, once completed, would provide Brentford with a fearsome war chest of £58m when the fee for Ollie Watkins is taken into account.
A lot of money to be spent.
No, not at all.
Tough league is Championship.