Brentford are reportedly in the market for a new right-wingback and Stade Rennais captain, Hamari Traore, is atop of that list, per a report.
Brentford have had a solid maiden season in the top flight of England with the Bees currently sitting in 11th. Thomas Frank has guided his team above the likes of Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Southampton. They also have more points than both of the other newly-promoted teams combined (46 to 45).
One position which they don’t have much depth in however, is at right-back. Sergi Canos is the player who has spent the most time on the right side of defence.
The 25-year-old by trade, is a winger. Throughout the campaign he has been deployed as a wing-back in a five defender formation.
He has played 30 Premier League matches and contributed to four goals during that time.
He is a 30-year-old right back and has appeared 41 times in all competitions this season so far.
The right-back has a contract which only runs until June 2023, meaning if a deal is made, it may come cheap.
What Hamari Traore can bring to the table
Brentford are the frontrunners to sign Traore this summer with L’Equipe mentioning no other clubs are presently interested in his services.
The Mali international started for his country throughout their Africa Cup of Nations run. Although they were knocked out early on, Traore still amassed an average rating of 6.97 throughout the tournament, according to WhoScored.
Traore has also been in amongst the goals during the Ligue 1 campaign, contributing to a whopping 13 goals so far.
That figure comprises three goals and 10 assists. The latter figure puts him three ahead of Man City ace Joao Cancelo in fewer league matches this season.
This is a much higher output than Canos has produced, although there are some differences in the quality of the leagues.
Traore also ranks amongst the top five players in Ligue 1 at blocking crosses.
Would Traore fit Brentford’s system?
The 30-year-old has played in France for the majority of his career. Since joining the club from Reims in 2017, he has cemented himself in the right-back role year-on-year.
Stade Rennais don’t use the same five at the back formation as Brentford do, often opting for a back four.
However, their full-backs are given license to bomb forward and Traore’s numbers indicate he is more than capable in that regard. Traore is also an adept crosser of the ball and despite lacking the physical presence, his athleticism more than makes up for that negative.
He has never been in a ‘top’ team but has consistently shown that he can perform at the highest level.
Traore’s crossing is his main asset and he would suit Brentford on that front. Ivan Toney would get consistent service which could go a long way to securing survival next year.