Brentford are set to sign ex-Burnley captain Ben Mee on a free transfer, according to a report.
Benjamin Thomas Mee (Ben Mee) has seen his contract dried out at the Turf Moor. After spending eleven years, the 32-year-old defender has parted ways with the club in search of pastures anew. Coming through the youth academy of Manchester City, Ben Mee was a much physical sort of presence at the heart of any defence. It was not the inability that forced him out of the youth team, but it was all about the game time that urged Mee to come to Turf Moor in the first place.
As a Claret, Sale-born Left-Centre-Back got much success over the course of 11 years. Ben Mee became the heart of the Burnley defence, and not just that, the defender was seen as a strong threat for even scoring the goals up front for his side. It was down to his tall and fit physique that helped Mee climb even higher than his opponents, winning most of the aerial duels and battles. The success story did not end there, as Burnley qualified for the Premier League in Mee’s second season as a Claret.
Ben Mee under Sean Dyche
Things changed a lot under Sean Dyche, as the former Burnley manager made Ben Mee his prime center-back. Whenever a Premier League side was to play a game against Burnley they feared Mee, for all the efforts that he put in each of the games. From winning the aerial duels, tackling, making interceptions/goal-line clearances to scoring a thumping header from a dead ball situation – Mee had it all! It is not easy to win the heart of the Clarets, but the defender soon became the fans’ favourite as well.
And in 2019 Burnley announced that their star defender – the wall at the back, Ben Mee is their new captain. From thereon it seems as if the English centre-back just transformed into a whole new player. Usually, big responsibilities tend to build more pressure on the player in turn it slows their developmental process/growth. But in his case, it was quite the opposite of the “usual”, rather one could say that the change in setting turned Mee into a Beast.
Likes of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola could not find a way out for their players to score past the revamped Burnley defence (in a few games). “He has become a very strong player for us and a good captain. This sounds like not strong enough praise but I can assure you it is. He is a very solid campaigner, week in, week out. He is always there for you and delivers and that is a big compliment.” Sean Dyche said in an interview when asked about his first-choice captain’s contribution to the side’s brick wall defence.
Ben Mee – A free agent!
Up until the game against Leicester in March last season, that left him injured, Ben Mee appeared in 376 matches in total for the Clarets. That counts for 11 years he has spent at Burnley, while also competing for 7 years in the Premier League during that time. With Burnley’s relegation from first-tier football last season, it is obvious that the captain is on his way out of the club- it is evident also through his contract situation, as he is a free agent now!
As soon as Ben Mee was declared a free agent, he got linked to one-or-two clubs who want his services. However, multiple reports from the Guardian and Sky Sports suggest that Brentford are clear in the race to sign the ex-captain of the newly relegated side. According to various media outlets, Mee will soon be undergoing his medical at the Brentford Community Stadium and it is believed that by the end of this week, or in the coming week, he will be officially unveiled as a new Brentford player.
If everything goes as it is, then this could be the 4th summer signing for the Bees after buying Aaron Hickey, Keane Lewis-Potter and Thomas Strakosha from Bologna, Hull City and Lazio respectively. Not to mention that signing someone of Ben Mee’s sorts could also bring in that leadership quality at the back, which Brentford has lacked the whole of last season and Thomas Frank would love to have it in his plans. Bees could very well be a surprise package going into a new season, and they even showed glimpses of the same in the last season as well.