Dutch football writer Michiel Jongsma believes Brentford are getting a Premier League-quality defender in new signing Andreas Bjelland.
The Bees broke their transfer record to land the 26-year-old Denmark international defender, for a fee believed to be three million euros (£2.1m).
Bjelland has spent the last three years playing in the Netherlands for FC Twente and Jongsma told West London Sport Brentford will be getting a commanding centre-half.
His key qualities
Jongsma: “He is a true leader in defence – he captained FC Twente last season but in a very composed and cool manner.
“He is strong in his duels, has good positioning and timing, as well as having the quality to pass out from the back. And on top of that, he also poses an aerial threat.
“He is not really fast or anything, but he gets by. All in all, he is a rare find in that he is quite good at almost anything.”
A top-flight acquisition
Jongsma: “I can imagine clubs like Southampton or Swansea could have done well with him.
“His ability to actually play a role in build-up play and his organisational qualities make him a fairly typical Eredivisie product that would fare well in a team that has the ambition to dominate an opponent.
— Brentford Bob (@Brentford_Bob) July 2, 2015
“If FC Twente had their finances sorted, he would probably command a higher fee. But they are not financially healthy so will probably be happy with a three million euros return.
“It’s a smart signing, but given his age it’s difficult to determine how far he can progress. If he turns out to be a Premier League-level defender, and I think he can, he obviously is a bargain, but the tempo in England is higher so he does need to adjust to that a bit.”
A smart move for player and club
“For me it is a surprise that no bigger clubs have come in for him, or at least has not done enough to persuade him to join them.
“But he is Danish and will undoubtedly have followed the progress of FC Midtjylland so you can imagine him being familiar with the concept of building a club they have at Brentford. That might have been a trigger for him.
“With the ambition that Brentford have he could well be a Premier League player in 12 months anyway.”