Many football fans were disappointed with Brentford's failure to win the Championship play-off final earlier this week. Thomas Frank's side play incredibly entertaining football, meaning they would have been a welcome addition to the English top flight.
Now they find themselves in a tough spot. Other clubs will be eyeing deals for their top players in the coming weeks, with Said Benrahma unlikely to spend another season in the Championship. The likes of Ollie Watkins and Bryan Mbeumo will also be drawing plenty of interest from elsewhere.
Should they move on, Brentford will be looking to bring in direct replacements. One of those could come in the form of Ronan Curtis.
The Ireland international enjoyed a stellar season in League One with Portsmouth, scoring 11 goals and registering five assists in 33 league appearances. He was also named the League One Player of the Month on two occasions.
After Portsmouth failed to secure promotion via the play-offs, he finds himself in a similar position to many of the players at Brentford. It seems clear that he is a step above League One level.
He has drawn no shortage of Championship interest over the last 12 months, with Blackburn, Leeds, and Derby County (to name but a few) linked with a move for the winger. It seems certain that Portsmouth will secure a huge profit on the £100,000 they paid Derry City for his services in the summer of 2018.
Brentford have been the club most frequently linked to Curtis in the last few weeks. It is believed they see him as a direct replacement for Benrahma should he move on.At club level, he would slot in nicely on Brentford's left wing should he the Algerian, although he is admittedly a different type of player.
This would be a brilliant move for the 24-year old. Employing an attacking style of football, Brentford would give Curtis every chance to succeed. They have consistently transformed low cost signings into quality players in recent season.
They also favour an analytical approach to recruitment, something that is likely to favour Curtis. The Athletic recently showed why the Irishman's stats make him an ideal fit for Leeds United, something that could also be applied to Brentford.
It is not only in analytical data where Curtis thrives. He also passes the eye test.
What a goal from Ronan Curtis pic.twitter.com/Mwsm8uP4Ze
— andy (@andybart37) December 21, 2019
Ronan Curtis fired Portsmouth into the lead but Oxford have since hit back through Marcus Browne!
Watch all the action live on Sky Sports Football! 📺 pic.twitter.com/3TRokJjPjZ
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) July 3, 2020
👌 Super strike from Ireland's Ronan Curtis to put Portsmouth ahead in their 3-2 win against Rotherham last night.pic.twitter.com/8WlcEDCiZS
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) November 27, 2019
Now ready to take the next step in his career, Brentford would be the ideal spot for Curtis to develop as a player. Playing under an exciting young manager in a team who would be amongst the favourites to earn promotion next season.
Brentford have repeatedly sold their best players in recent seasons, but have not experienced any drop in performance as a result. This is a good indication that the Portsmouth player could well thrive should he move to the club.
A good run in a strong Championship team could also vault him into real international consideration. Curtis has earned three caps at senior level, but did not feature in any of the Euro 2020 qualifiers.
While there is plenty of competition for places up front, his age makes him a prime candidate to be viewed a long-term prospect by Stephen Kenny. His ability to play right across the front line makes him a very attractive proposition.
Making the right move this summer certainly boosts those chances moving forward.
This is one to keep an eye in the coming days and weeks, but it seems Curtis won't be at Fratton Park next season.