Premier League 2022/23 Preview: Brentford

Reuters

Predicted finish: 15th 

After comfortably avoiding relegation in their debut Premier League campaign, Brentford will be aiming to improve on a respectable 13th placed finish with 46 points.

Under Thomas Frank, the Bees produced a number of memorable performances against some of the top sides in the land. An opening day 2-0 victory over Arsenal set the tone for the season ahead, while a 3-3 draw against Liverpool and a 4-1 away victory over Chelsea proved Brentford can perform at the highest level.

The Bees will be keen to avoid the dreaded second-season syndrome and during the second half of the campaign suffered a severe dip in form. The West London club were inspired by the January arrival of Christian Eriksen, who has since opted to make the lucrative switch to Manchester United.

Brentford also managed to beat Bayern Munich to the capture of highly rated Scottish fullback Aaron Hickey on a four-year contract. The former Bologna man, who recently turned 20, has already racked up 47 Serie A appearances and scored 5 goals during that time.

The arrival of Ben Mee on a free transfer also brings welcome Premier League experience to the Bees' backline. The club are however yet to sign a suitable replacement for the departing Eriksen and are currently lacking a creative spark in the middle of the park.

In terms of outgoings, Brentford have allowed a number of players to leave on loan and could yet face a battle to keep striker Ivan Toney, who has been the subject of interest from both Newcastle and Manchester United.

Back in January, Toney was forced to apologise to both his manager and supporters after a video emerged on social media where he appeared to criticise the club. In response, the 26-year old wrote on Twitter:

Brentford will be hoping to once again surpass the famous “40-point mark” and build on their first season in the top-flight following 74 years of competing in the lower tiers, but could face some difficult challenges along the way.

One to watch: Keane Lewis-Potter

After initially trying to pry Lewis-Potter away from Hull last summer, the Bees have finally got their man.

The highly rated England U21 international has moved through the ranks at Hull since signing as a schoolboy in 2015. His performances throughout the previous campaign caught the eye of several Premier League clubs, as Brentford elected to splash out the required £17m to seal the winger’s move to the Gtech Community Stadium.

The 21-year-old has signed a six-year contract with Brentford, a club with a solid recent history of talent identification, and it is hoped he can transfer his goalscoring form from Championship strugglers Hull to the biggest stage of all.

 After scoring 13 times in 47 Championship appearances last season, the Englishman, dubbed one of the “biggest young talents” by Thomas Frank is still very much an unpolished gem.


First five fixtures: Leicester, Man Utd, Fulham, Everton, Crystal Palace 

Transfers In
Aaron Hickey (£14.9m, Bologna)
Keane Lewis-Potter (£17.1m, Hull City)
Thomas Strakosha (free, Lazio)
Ben Mee (free, Burnley)

Transfers Out
Ben Hockenhull (undisclosed, Tranmere Rovers)
Tudor Baluta (released)
Dominic Jefferies (undisclosed, Gillingham)
Julian Jeanvier (released)
Mathias Jorgensen (released)
Christian Eriksen (free, Manchester United)
Mads Bidstrup (loan, Nordsjaelland)
Lachlan Brook (loan, Crewe Alexandra)

Brentford total spent to date: £32m
Brentford total received to date: £0m

Brentford net transfer balance: -£32m

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