Brentford boss Dean Smith has confirmed today that Reading have had a bid rejected for Yoann Barbet. The French defender, who can play at either centre half or left back, apparently won’t be doing so for the Royals unless they up their offer.
As quoted in GetWestLondon, Smith said:
“I’m led to believe they made a bid but it was nowhere near the club’s evaluation for him and we’re not looking at selling him.
“I’m led to believe from the directors of football and it was turned down straight away.”
(He may have actually meant to say ‘valuation’, not ‘evaluation’, but that’s the quote we’ve got).
We don’t know how much Reading offered for Barbet, nor how highly Brentford value their player, but it’s safe to say that The Bees would want a hefty wad of cash for someone who’s been a first team regular this season.
Since joining from FC Niort (near La Rochelle in Western France) in 2015, the 24 year-old has played 68 times for Dean Smith’s side, but has been particularly important in 2017/18, appearing in 21 of Brentford’s 27 league games so far. In total, only five outfield players have seen more Championship minutes than Barbet.
What kind of player would Reading be getting?
(If they loosened their purse strings of course).
Going by the basic info I’ve mentioned above, Barbet is a relatively young player (24) with a decent amount of Championship experience, so he has both prior experience and potential to improve further - a standard Reading signing then.
In terms of playing style, his WhoScored profile and individual stats suggest he’s pretty comfortable on the ball but also likes spraying passes about the pitch. In fact, he makes more passes per game than any other Bees defender (51.3), but his relatively low pass completion rate of just over 77% can probably be explained by his tendency to regularly play long balls (he’s second only to ‘keeper Daniel Bentley in that regard).
Defensively, not much stands out - he makes a pretty normal number of tackles, interceptions and blocks, at least in relation to his Reading counterparts.
The real question though is what Reading except from him - are they after cover at centre half, particularly in the potential absence of Liam Moore, or do they want an option at left back who’s more experienced than Omar Richards? Both answers are understandable to an extent, but I’d argue that we’re fine for numbers in each case with the rise of youngsters Richards and Axel Andresson.
The sale of Liam Moore could of course change that, especially considering that he was left out of the matchday squad to face Stevenage in mid-week. Has Barbet been earmarked as his replacement?
Where unspecified, career stats come from Transfermarkt and other numbers are from WhoScored.