Bryan Mbeumo is set to be a future star in English football after impressing for Brentford.
Here, Sky Sports’ EFL pundits Don Goodman and Andy Hinchcliffe assess the 20-year-old’s attributes and tell us why he is such a special talent…
- Subscribe to the podcast via Apple | Castbox | Spotify
How has he settled in to English football?
Goodman: To come across here as a 20-year-old boy, settle into a team in the Championship and produce what he’s produced is absolutely remarkable and deserves every bit of praise going. The big thing for me that I notice when he’s playing is that he plays with his head up. There are so many talented, skilful players that can dribble and beat players but they play with their head down and they don’t see the big picture. I think he really excels at picking the right time to cross the ball and picking players out.
You put that with his natural urge to get on the scoresheet as well; he usually starts on the right-hand side of that front three but when the ball is on the other side, he gets himself into an area where he can get on the end of a cross or score. I had a good look at a highlights clip of his season so far and I saw literally everything. Different types of goals: headers, tap-ins, beautiful curlers with that wand of a left foot he’s got. But I also saw how he was able to play with his head up and pick out team-mate who then would then score themselves.
Brentford get the unfinished product, coach them and they rarely bring a player in who doesn’t go on to do better things. They have got themselves a terrifically talented young player they’ve developed and they are now reaping the rewards.
Hinchcliffe: Firstly, he was given a great opportunity with the injury to Sergi Canos in October. It gave Mbeumo the opportunity to play regularly and he’s grabbed it with both hands. Physically and mentally, I think he’s got everything you needs but at 20 years old, stepping from Ligue 2 to the Championship is not an easy transition to make but he’s made it look effortless. He knows his strengths and he uses them when he can but he brings the best out of players around him and works very hard for the team up and down that right-hand side. Every part of his game this season has been really impressive.
We have to highlight Brentford’s player procurement because when he was playing in Ligue 2, he didn’t really play in a front three – he played as a striker or as a wide midfielder in a midfield four. What I like about him is that he’s got pace and the ability to get past players but he delivers the ball into the box when the chance is there to do it. He’s created more goals for Ollie Watkins than any other Brentford player this season and that comes from his willingness to do his job and that’s to stick the ball in the box.
Is he indulged by his team-mates to allow him to express himself going forward?
Goodman: One of Brentford’s biggest problems over the last four or five seasons has been that they’ve always been easy on the eye, good going forward but vulnerable defensively. This season, they’ve got the second-best defensive record in the league, a turnaround for which Thomas Frank deserves all the credit in the world. That record doesn’t belong to the defenders and the goalkeeper, it belongs to the team. Defending starts from the front and that BMW [Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo, Ollie Watkins] are the trigger for making it hard for the opposition up in their own half.
Hinchcliffe: He’s not indulged at all and that’s been one of Brentford’s greatest strengths this season. They are not divided into the front three and then the rest of the team. If you look at how hard that front three work, they will drop back and help out their full-backs when the opposition are causing problems and that’s why they are in the top six. It’s not just because they have this front three who can score goals; the balance is absolutely superb.
If you look at the midfield three as well, they spread across the pitch and make it very hard for the opposition to play through them and that gives the front three licence to cause as many problems as they do and they dominate the ball really well so they are a good technical team. But Mbeumo is not a luxury player – he’s not just there to get the ball and cause problems. He’s been coached very well that when they don’t have the ball – which is half the game – he comes back to help, but then when they win it back, he gets back up the pitch and causes problems in the opposition’s final third. The whole team is very well balanced and each individual – Mbeumo included – play their part in the team being successful.
Does he have what it takes to play in the Premier League?
Goodman: Based on everything I’ve seen and heard, the answer has to be an emphatic yes. He’s 20-years-old and delivering on the pitch. He’s a pocket dynamite but looks a lot older than he actually is. He’s not a big lad but he’s a powerful, stocky lad, hard to knock off the ball. He’s quick, he’s strong, he’s dynamic, he’s got goals and assists in him. We’ve compared him in many ways to Adama Traore. He started at Barcelona but frustrated all of his coaches, went to Villa and it was only Tony Pulis who started getting a tune out of him. It’s only really Nuno at Wolves who has managed to coach him to make better decisions when he’s in possession of the football and out of possession. I would go as far as to say Mbeumo is ahead of where Traore was when he was 20-years-old
Source: Read Full Article