According to Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is targeting Brentford defender Yoann Barbet as the man to shore up his team’s back line. The former has worked with the latter in his time at the Griffin Park, prior to joining Villa Park.
As per the report, Villa will go head to head with Stoke City for the services of the quality centre-back. Barbet is, however, the top transfer target for the Birmingham club, partly due to the fact that the Frenchman is out of contract at the end of this season.
Smith has worked with him before and used him as a centre-back and a left-back. The 25-year-old did well in both positions.
Here’s everything you need to know about the player:
Born in France, Yoann Barbet spent his young footballing years at AS Mouliets, Olympique Saint-Pey and FC Vallee de Gamage, before moving to the youth setup of Bordeaux. He played for the Ligue 1 side’s reserve team from 2011 to 2014 before signing a deal with Ligue 2 club Chamois Niortais.
He arrived in England in 2015, signing for Brentford in the Championship. Since then, he has played 93 games for the Bees and has been an integral part of the team over the years. Being a left-footer, he is comfortable in operating on the left-hand side of central defence and as an orthodox left-back.
The 25-year-old can win aerial duels in abundance, pass the ball forward with accuracy and make vital interceptions at the back. His concentration levels are always on the high, helping others to stay in a position to defend the situation in the best possible manner.
His aerial prowess means he is a natural threat in the opposition box from set-pieces. The Frenchman has scored seven goals in 93 appearances for Brentford.
All in all, Barbet is an all-around defender capable of enhancing the quality of any defence, especially in the Championship. Having worked with him before, Dean Smith should be confident of getting the 25-year-old to Villa Park.
And from the player’s perspective, operating under a manager who brought him to England would be an enticing prospect.
Hence, it would make sense for both parties to make this move happen, knowing the fact that he is out of contract in the summer.
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