Premier League newcomers Aston Villa reportedly want to sign Said Benrahma from Championship outfit Brentford.
This time last year, hardly anyone in England was aware of a little-known winger by the name of Said Benrahma. It’s fair to say that is no longer the case.
Brentford pulled off yet another inspired transfer coup by signing a two-time Algeria international from French second tier outfit Chateauroux. And The Bees could be in line to make a £20 million profit.
Because, according to the Express and Star, Aston Villa are working on an eye-watering deal to reunite Dean Smith with a player who shone under him at Griffin Park in the first few months of the 2018/19 campaign.
Even Smith’s departure in October didn’t destabilise Benrahma’s season. The fleet-footed winger ended 2018/19 with 11 goals and 17 assists as he left full-backs with twisted blood and goalkeepers grasping thin air.
Blessed with glorious technical ability and the tendency to drift past opponents at will, no wonder former Brentford midfielder Sam Saunders likened him to a certain Lionel Messi.
“I trained with him and I know it’s a big shout but he is a little bit like Lionel Messi in the way he can run with the ball with pace,” he told Sky Sports. “It just doesn’t leave his foot, it’s like it’s velcroed on.”
In fact, Aston Villa haven’t had a winger this exciting since a fresh faced Ashley Young was dominating Premier League defences in claret and blue a decade ago.
And, at just 23, Benrahma has the natural talent to go on and exceed Young’s achievements at one of England’s biggest clubs.