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How Can Josh Dasilva Revive Brentford?

Josh Dasilva returned to action last week in Brentford's 1-1 draw against Wolves in the FA cup. It was his first appearance since the Bees second game of the season away to West London rivals Fulham where even then the talented number 10 only managed 9 minutes on the pitch before sustaining a hamstring injury. Across the entirety of his career Dasilva has been riddled with recurring injuries, but there's no doubt that when fit, the English midfielder is a massive threat. Dasilva's return offers Thomas Frank the opportunity to become more expressive and tactical in how he sets up his team to play. So bearing this in mind could Dasilva's individual presence be pivotal to Brentford's revival?


Dasilva being back on the scene has been overshadowed by Ivan Toney's commitment to stay and Brentford's unwillingness to sell for a non-substantial sum. Regardless this news shouldn't divert the attention away from Dasilva who should arguably have just as an important role to play as Toney in this new year.


Dasilva likes to operate in a free roam right attacking midfielder role, where he picks up spaces both out wide and centrally to dictate play and create chances. It was evident in the Wolves fixture Dasilva is already looking sharp and nimble, he is a swift mover with the ball and his directness is something Brentford have lacked all season. With injuries to players such as Kevin Schade and Rico Henry Brentford haven't had much drive going forward which has forced Frank to adapt and perhaps play a style of football he preferably wouldn't like to. Results have been poor, yet promise is on the horizon, Dasilva's mobility and Toney's all rounded qualities now supports Frank to reinforce an attacking system to give the team an improved chance of scoring.



Statistically the Bees have struggled in front of goal, they have only scored four goals in their last five matches in the Premier League so the implication of Toney and Dasilva will be interesting to see how the dynamic changes and whether Brentford's misery of failing to put the ball into the back of net will come to an end. Dasilva has always been a hassle to defenders, he can protect the ball well and has a very dangerous left foot. In an around the box Dasilva loves to shift the ball inside and search for the far corner, this is a move idealistic of Arjen Robben and is something Dasilva has a very high success rate with. Some of the goals he has scored with this one specific movement will leave you astonished and embodies his ability to be a contributor to the team.



In a 63-minute spell in Friday's FA cup tie Dasilva had 46 touches in which he managed to play two key passes. He was deployed at right striker but naturally dropped into that RAM role to enable others to penetrate the spaces beyond him. The positions he picked up can be seen via the heat map where Dasilva's impact is noticeable inside and outside of the right flank. His performance on the pitch was similar to the job Bryan Mbuemo was doing before he sustained an unfortunate injury. Frank can put Dasilva to good use down this side, as a manager he has always preferred having a left footer off the right in the attacking third. The significance of Dasilva is that whilst it may be predictable for him to cut inside he is confident enough to face his man one on one and take it outside onto his weaker right foot. I believe Dasilva will play more in this position and when at full fitness will be a force to reckon with.



Dasilva's main battle will be to stay fit, he will be nurtured back into the side after the time he has spent sidelined by a hamstring injury. He has already missed 20 games this season and won't want to face missing anymore. Therefore, it is likely over the course of the next few games Dasilva's minutes will be limited however this doesn't disregard the potential impact he could have. When fit and firing Dasilva has proved what he is capable of, the start of last season is a clear example, a goal against Leicester City and Manchester United in the opening games of the Premier League conveys his aptitude to leave a mark.


Brentford host Nottingham Forest on the 20th of January but Dasilva should get more minutes before this tricky fixture when the Bees travel to Wolves for an unwanted FA cup replay. It will be good to keep a close eye on how Dasilva bares over the next few games and hopefully his influence within the side will be a turning point not only for his season, but for Brentford who must be hungry for some consistency and wins!



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