Why Brentford fans should be happy with Rico Henry committing his long-term future
The 22-year-old, who signed a five-year deal when he made the move from Walsall to Brentford back in 2016, had two years remaining on his contract but the Bees were quick to put a new offer on the table and secure his long-term future.
A youth product of Walsall, Henry rose to prominence in League One with his dazzling displays as a teenager under Dean Smith before a move to Griffin Park in 2016 reunited him with his former manager.
The highly-rated youngster found himself in and out of the Bees first-team in his first three seasons at the club due to a couple of long-term knee injuries but Henry has made a bright start to the 2019-20 season, starting in each of the club’s first five fixtures in the Championship thus far.
The Birmingham-born defender is yet to pick up a goal or an assist in the Championship for the Bees this term but he has earned rave reviews from fans and pundits alike ever since his introduction to senior football in the third-tier.
There is no doubt about the fact that the 22-year-old has the talent and potential to go all the way and play at the highest level in the years to come.
With that in mind, Henry’s new deal definitely comes as a piece of welcome news to the fans at Griffin Park, despite a rather lacklustre start to the ongoing season.
Thomas Frank’s side have managed only a solitary win in five league games till now but the new deal for the left-back should hand them a psychological boost for the fixtures to follow.
To put things into perspective, it is pretty clear as to why and how the new contract best serves the interests of all parties involved.
Despite his obvious talent, Henry’s progress at Griffin Park has been thwarted to an extent by recurrent injuries and he hasn’t quite evolved into the player they might have thought he would when they invested in him three years ago.
It would be fair to say that he is yet to live up to the expectations and announce himself as a stalwart in the Championship but Brentford’s patience with him could potentially pay rich dividends in the future.
Henry has promised a lot whenever he has been on the pitch and this might just be the campaign where he finally takes significant strides towards fulfilling his potential, provided he manages to keep himself injury-free.
Looking at things from another perspective, Henry’s new deal has put the Bees in a strong negotiating position should any potential suitor come calling for the left-back’s services in the transfer windows to follow.
Chris Mepham joined Bournemouth back in January, while the likes of Neal Maupay and Ezri Konsa made their moves to Brighton and Aston Villa respectively earlier this summer, meaning that Brentford have lost quite a few of their prized assets in recent times.
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Taking that into consideration, the new deal for the former England U-20 international is likely to ward off interest from other clubs and Brentford will be hoping that Henry finally gets a prolonged run in the Championship this term.