West London side Brentford missed out on automatic promotion to the Premier League by contriving to lose at home on the final matchday to relegation-bound Barnsley — who in turn, thus saved their second division status — and that could make it even more likely that exciting winger Saïd Benrahma ends up leaving the Bees this summer.
The 24-year-old has been lined with Arsenal and Chelsea in the past — more so the former, than the latter as of late — but his future may lie outside of London altogether. Inbound Premier Leaguers Leeds United have made his signing a “top priority” and according to Algerian outlet Le Buteur, are willing to offer €26m, which is close to Brentford’s reported asking price. Leeds United have been linked to other big-name signings like Edinson Cavani as well, as they look to make up for the last 16 years since going down in 2004.
Jack Harrison is the only natural left winger at Leeds, but he’s only on loan from Manchester City and expected to return to his parent club. And signing a talented player like Benrahma, who has 17 goals and 9 assists this season, is even more important now for Leeds to be able to compete with the big boys of the top division.
Brentford have started preparing for life without Benrahma as well, and have shortlisted Portsmouth’s Ronan Curtis, according to Portsmouth News. Curtis was impressive throughout the season in League One, scoring 14 goals and providing 8 assists for Pompey, but his efforts failed to earn them promotion as they lost to Oxford United in the play-offs.
Of course, Benrahma leaving is not necessarily certain, with Brentford considered favorites for the upcoming promotion playoffs. And he claims he would prefer to make it to the Premier League with Brentford rather than without.
“I don’t look at it as my destiny, but it has always been a target of mine to play in the Premier League and I really wish to play in the Premier League with Brentford. It would be magnificent for Brentford to be in the Premier League because it would be the first time and we have really been working hard on it.”
-Saïd Benrahma; source: Telegraph
Chelsea’s priorities probably lie elsewhere at this point, with the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic already in the team and Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech already joining us. That said, few are as electric as Benrahma on the pitch and it would be very exciting to see him showcase his abilities at the highest level as well.
Good luck in the playoffs, Saïd!