There were persistent links last summer between B6 and Said Benrahma, with Villa opting to persue other targets as part of a £140 million summer 2019 overhaul.
Since then, as Villa have struggled in the lower echelons of the Premier League, Benrahma’s stock has steadily risen in the division below. The Algerian has been central to Brentford’s promotion push, although the Bees failed to leapfrog Albion despite two opportunities in the final week of the campaign.
Whilst Villa baulked at Brentford’s proposed transfer fee for Benrahma last season, and it appears that if we want to show interest this time, that a bid in the region of £30 million will be required. Villa had offered in the region of £8 million previously, a fee simular to that ultimately agreed for Egyptian winger Mahmoud Trezeguet.
The Benrahma has 17 goals and 9 assists in 43 appearances this term, having signed for a mere £2 million just a couple of seasons ago.
There is also an elephant in the room. Aside from the Dean Smith connection as an added lure, Benrahma now has a significant range of suiters. Whilst there are reports that West Ham will “sell their flops” to fund a move for the tricky midfielder, the likelihood now is that he holds loftier ambitions.
London based Benrahma need not even leave the capital, with both Arsenal and Chelsea monitoring his availability. Given the impressive new arrivals at Stamford Bridge, the latter might more readily appeal than either West Ham or indeed Villa. Whilst the Hammers have narrowly avoided relegation, Villa must seek to secure a second Premier League season this Sunday, ironically against David Moyes’ side.
This underlines just how hamstrung Villa were both in terms of funds and limited time last summer. We had to spread the transfer budget thinner than we would ever have wanted to, but the argument might be that a handful of underwhelming deals could have seen Benrahma make a switch to Villa Park. That, of course, is with the benefit of hindsight.
For Villa, the first battle is ensuring that we remain in the Premier League. Without retaining our PL status, pondering how we might add to our squad is arguably premature. Whether we can now even compete for the signature of Said Benrahma this time around, is also a question for another day.
For Benrahma, he must now attempt to win promotion via the playoffs with a Brentford team likely reeling from having failed to reach The Premier League automatically.
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