We call the English Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers FC the ‘second team’ of the Portugal National Team because of the accumulation of Portuguese players in the squad. They were by far the most Portuguese side in the Premier League two years back. There were 16 Portuguese footballers in the Premier League, and almost half of them were at Wolves. The situation has not changed a bit in the present moment too. Now, they can present a line-up just with Portuguese players. In the January transfer window, A former Sporting Lisbon youngster, Chiquinho, became the latest in a long line of Portuguese players to join Wolves.
Like Wolves, the newly promoted Brentford FC also has a connection with a country. It is with Denmark. After the signing of Christian Eriksen in the winter transfer window, there are seven Danish players in the first team with the Bees.
These players are:
Jonas Lossl (Goalkeeper)
Mads Bech Sorensen (Centre-Back)
Mads Roerslev Rasmussen (Right-Back)
Christian Norgaard (Defensive Midfield)
Mathias Jensen (Central Midfield)
Christian Eriksen (Attacking Midfield)
The club has connections with Denmark, not only through players. But also in the management. Brentford FC’s owner Matthew Benham, also owns Midtjylland, a Danish professional football club based in Herning and Ikast in the midwestern part of Jutland.
The former Co-Director of the Bees, Rasmus Ankersen, is also from Denmark. In December, he stepped down from the role after six-and-a-half years to set up a sports investment firm – Sport Republic. Former Bees man Ankersen founded Sport Republic with chairman Henrik Kraft, as the group look to build a data-driven network of clubs and sports brands across the globe.
Like with Wolves, whose former manager Nuno Espirito Santo and the current boss Bruno Lage are Portuguese, Brentford’s manager is also a Dane. He is a former amateur player. After 18 years in youth coaching, which included spells as manager of multiple Danish national youth teams, Frank became a senior manager with Brondby IF in 2013. After his departure in 2016, he moved to English club Brentford as assistant head coach and was promoted into the role of head coach in October 2018.
As the same person owns both Brentford and Midtjylland, there are a lot of transfers happening between these two clubs. The latest signing was Jonas Lossl. He has initially arrived at Brentford on loan until the end of the 2021/22 season.
Brentford and Midtjylland also use the same method in recruiting players, and their well-renowned use of data in football have produced success for both clubs.
“Midtjylland is run on very similar lines to Brentford, it’s about being really smart with recruitment,” Brentford chairman and Midtjylland director Cliff Crown said last year.
“We look for players that fit into the team and the way we want to play football.
“Then using the statistics, we go into the market to find the undervalued players, the ones that can grow from the lower leagues and make the team better.
“We’ve done that at Brentford, as everybody knows, but we’ve also done that at Midtjylland.