Brentford’s January transfer window: Christian Eriksen signing papers over the cracks of a disappointing month

3 min

From Brazilian wonderkid Vanderson to Keane Lewis-Potter and Aaron Hickey, the January transfer window feels like a case of what could have been for Brentford.

Coming into January, the Bees were targeting a full-back, creative midfielder and a back-up striker with only one of those three recruitment areas subsequently strengthened. 

The marquee signing of Christian Eriksen on a six-month deal until the end of the season is the experienced creative spark Thomas Frank’s side have been crying out for and, with his stature in the game, heralds a watershed moment in the club’s history.

It feels like a pivotal moment for the player too in a deal which was complicated and imperative to get right due to the 29-year-old’s cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 just seven months ago.

However, without signing a full-back and forward, it feels like the magnitude of Eriksen’s arrival is merely papering over the cracks of what was an unsuccessful month overall.

Since the departure of Henrik Dalsgaard in the summer, Brentford have struggled to find a competent right wing-back, switching between Mads Roerslev and the natural winger by trade Sergi Canos. 

When the club’s early January chase of Vanderson ended in the Brazilian rejecting them to join Monaco, alternatives should have been drawn up at that point. 

Similarly, Dominic Thompson’s loan move to League One Ipswich Town seems to have made the left-hand side weaker as well.

READ MORE: Thomas Frank’s new deal should help reset Brentford’s focus during the Premier League winter break

Whilst the player only managed two Premier League appearances, his Man of the Match display against reigning champions Manchester City should have been enough to keep him around as cover for the injury-prone Rico Henry.  

With no current back-up option in the squad, a lot rests on Henry remaining fit, otherwise the alternative scenario could see Canos featuring in a bizarre left wing-back inverted role.

Meanwhile, Brentford’s forward line has also been reduced with Marcus Forss joining Championship side Hull City on loan for the remainder of the season.

Although providing the 22-year-old with much-needed game time, it does leave Brentford with only one out-and-out striker in Ivan Toney. 

Again, should Toney pick up an injury as he did in December, it limits Brentford’s striking options to just Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa and increasingly so if Frank continues with his current high-intensity 3-5-2 formation.

Brentford’s pursuit of rising stars Lewis-Potter (Hull City) and Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson underline the club’s continued focus on burgeoning youth with a huge resale value. 

READ MORE: Shandon Baptiste’s first-ever Premier League goal could be the watershed moment his career – and Brentford – need

The only problem is, with the Bees now in the top-flight, clubs further down the food chain are reluctant to sell without a larger slice of Premier League finances meaning Brentford were eventually priced out of a move for either one of the EFL talents. 

Instead, the club will have to be content with the current players at their disposal and have further consolidated their own assets with the announcement of new contracts for Christian Norgaard, Mbeumo and Pontus Jansson over the course of the last month.

That, and the return of goalkeeper David Raya and midfielder Josh Dasilva from long-term injury lay-offs will have to do as they try to put missed opportunities behind them.

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