Brentford’s rise to the Premier League has been nothing short of a fairytale. From financial difficulties to an existential crisis that brought the club on the cusp of extinction, Brentford have come a long way. The fans of this 132 year football club had waited for 70 years to see their team compete in the English Top Flight, a dream that became a reality when Thomas Frank’s men achieved promotion with a playoff final victory against Swansea at Wembley.
Brentford took the Premier League by storm, defeating Arsenal on the opening day of the season. Victories against the likes of West Ham & Leicester, a pulsating draw against Liverpool, and a narrow defeat to Chelsea in the early part of the season showed the immense talent this team possesses. Under the leadership of Thomas Frank, the Bees were flying high in the top half of the table. But a dip in form over the past weeks has reiterated the importance of squad depth in a league where games come thick and fast.
In recent days, Brentford have been heavily linked with a move for Brazilian right-back Vanderson who plays for Gremio in the Brazilian top flight. Let’s dive into the details of this move and how it makes sense for Thomas Frank to make a move for the Brazilian.
Who is Vanderson?
Vanderson de Oliveira Campos is a 20-year-old Brazilian right-back who plays for Gremio in the Brazilian top flight. He started his playing career at his hometown football club, Unia Rondonopolis. After spending 5 years in the youth setup, he briefly moved to Rio Branco SP in 2018 to get first-team action. In the summer of 2019, Vanderson signed a 4-year contract with Gremio FC in the Brazilian 1st division.
Vanderson did not take long before catching the eyes of European scouts and cementing his position as a fan favourite at Gremio. He is an attacking fullback who has the ability of delivering beautiful crosses into the box for the Strikers to attack. Vanderson is also widely acclaimed as a dead ball specialist, with his free-kicks and corners causing serious concern for the opposition defenders.
After his breakthrough season at Gremio, there were rumours that Arsenal had been monitoring the Brazilian fullback. But it was Brentford who were desperately working to agree on a deal for his signature. It was believed that the player was excited with the prospect of playing for the Bees. But the move didn’t materialize as Gremio held out for a fee of 13 million euros, a fee that Brentford weren’t ready to pay.
If the recent reports are to be believed, then Brentford are close to agreeing on a deal for the Brazilian in January. The agreement is said to be “close” according to the Daily Mail, with the deal expected to be in the region of 9.5 million euros. With the Bees seemingly close to acquiring the services of Vanderson, let us break down their style of play and how the Brazilian fits the bill for Thomas Frank’s side.
Brentford’s style of play
Thomas Frank prefers to play with a 3-5-2 formation. Even though the Bees played with a 4-3-3 at times in the Championship, they’ve opted for a back 3 during their Premier League campaign so far. Brentford focuses on their wing play, especially the likes of Canos & Henry, getting crosses into the box as well as creating overlaps for the fullbacks to square the ball into the 18-yard box. During an attack, one of the two strikers, either Mbuemo or Toney drops off into the area occupied by the 3 midfielders and are able to thread beautiful passes either for the wingbacks or for a midfielder running past the opposition defense. Further, when a wingback puts a cross into the box, the other wingback joins the 2 strikers in trying to get on the end of it.
It’s evidently clear that wingbacks play a crucial role in whatever Brentford do. While pressing the ball carrier, the ball-sided wingback joins the midfield while the other wingback drops to form a flat Back 4. The Bees believe in building out from the back and most of their build-up play includes short inter-linking passes, which goes to show how Thomas Frank’s men are a well-drilled cohesive unit.
Why Vanderson is the perfect signing for Brentford
Equipped with quick feet and lightning-quick pace, Vanderson is the perfect reinforcement that the Bees need. A dead-ball specialist whose deliveries into the box are a cause of constant concern for the defenders. The way Brentford looks to progress the ball from the back might see Vanderson at his very best. His defensive abilities can come into question at some instances, but at the age of 20, he still has a long way to go.
The interesting thing to see will be whether the Brazilian manages to dislodge Canos from the starting Right wingback position. But with Brentford having made an attempt to sign him in the summer and finally looking to seal his signature in January, it seems that Thomas Frank has high hopes pinned against the Brazilian wingback. He might have to endure an adjustment period after making the jump from the Brazilian league to the English top flight but once he manages to do so, he certainly has the potential of becoming a fan favourite at the Community Stadium!