Brentford boss Thomas Frank has backed Aaron Hickey to fill the giant void left by the season-ending injury to Rico Henry.
Henry suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle in what is a huge blow for Frank’s side with the left-back missing just five games since the club were promoted to the Premier League in 2021.
The 26-year-old, who will undergo surgery next Wednesday, has been a key figure in the Bees establishing themselves as a top-flight club and Frank believes he would have worked his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championships next summer.
“It is a big loss for us as he is a key player,” Frank said.
“I really feel for him as he’s done so well, and although I am not the head coach of England, he must have been close (to selection) for the Euros.
“But it’s a part of football, we will find a solution to keep us going forward.
“He’s been in the last couple of days trying to strengthen the muscle around the leg as much as possible before he has the operation. The support we give him over the next few months is very important.”
Hickey signed from Italian side Bologna last season as a right-back but Frank believes he can play on the other flank and be equally effective.
“With Aaron there is a lot of talk about whether he is a right back or a left-back, but I am in that privileged position that he can play on both sides and will most likely go on the left,” he said.
“He is both-footed and has huge ability we don’t have that many full-backs so he is very important
“He is a player we signed a year ago with big ambitions and his future and it is going in the right direction for him.”