We are straight into “silly season” again folks after the end of the English football season’s traditional curtain closer, the FA Cup final on Saturday. Having said that, there is still the small matter of the Championship play-off final at Wembley on a rather strange Tuesday night but these are strange times.
Brentford and Fulham will face-off in the so called “richest game in football” with one of the West London clubs taking the final available place in the Premier League. I really admire what Brentford have managed to achieve over the last few years, slowly getting into this position, but it is probably their last chance to do it. In players like Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins they have two of the league’s best attacking players and as both are 24 and both have scored a hatful of goals this season, surely the Bees would struggle to keep hold of them if they don’t go up.
From a selfish point of view, I would expect Fulham to be more of a threat to Norwich if they lost on Tuesday but it would be great to see Brentford do it.
Former Norwich defender, Sean Raggett, released by the Canaries last week, looks to be heading back to Portsmouth with a permanent deal in the offing. According to The News a deal to take Raggett back to Fratton Park, where he spent last season on loan, is 70% done despite interest from other clubs including Hull City and Championship new boys, Wycombe and Rotherham.
Raggett helped Pompey to the first division play-off final after a very good season. Norwich did have a one-year option on the player but decided against taking that up.
In other transfer news, Emi Buendia has again been linked with Leeds United, which seems to have been going on since about Christmas. The Argentinian playmaker was second behind only Kevin de Bruyne for chances created in the Premier League this season, despite only scoring one goal and is widely acknowledged as being one of City’s brightest stars.
Like all the others though, he is on a long-term contract and if any club wants to buy him, it won’t be on the cheap. According to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, Leeds have enquired about Buendia and been told that the fee will be £25m.
Leeds boss, Marcelo Bielsa is something of a legend in his native Argentina and is considered to be the forerunner of Pep Guardiola, with Pep himself once describing Bielsa as the best manager in the world. It seems like it might be tough for Buendia to turn down the opportunity to play for Bielsa, especially in the Premier League, as reported here by the Daily Mail.
You can expect plenty more of this type of thing in the coming weeks…