Rico Henry sustained a season ending injury two weeks ago against Newcastle. The injury to his knee has been confirmed as an ACL tear and now the bees will have to go the rest of the campaign without their star defender.
So why is this injury such a blow to not only Rico Henry but the Brentford team in general. Henry has been a long serving member of the club and ever since the bees arrived in the Premier League he has shone with some electric performances. Henry must be one of the fastest players in the league which almost makes it impossible for any attackers to beat him one v one. There is such devastation for the left back who in many people's eyes may have been worthy of an England call up based on injuries to Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell. The absence of Henry gives manager Thomas Frank some serious problems as there isn't much depth in the squad to cover Henry for the rest of the season. The bees may have to invest in the January window as Henry's form will be difficult to replicate, Frank may have to adjust tactically as Henry was often left as the last man to defend counters, so it will be interesting to see how the team and Frank cope without the Englishman.
Brentford seemed to manage well in their recent EFL Cup match verses Arsenal, the bees dominated the second half and probably should have won to send the gunners crashing out. However, it was Arsenal that proceeded, nonetheless the team didn't look out of shape without Henry so there is promise for the team who need to start earning some points. Henry is such a talented complete player; his defensive awareness is exceptional and whilst he's small in stature the left back never gave up on a physical battle. He will be missed heavily by the Brentford fans and team because not only was he a defensive asset to the side as Henry would pop up with the occasional goal and consistent assists. Brentford fell to a 3-1 defeat against Everton in their last Premier League outing where defensively the side was a mess leaving way too many spaces for the opposition to exploit in behind. This is where Henry will be missed as his presence in the backline creates reassurance for the centre backs who Henry always covers so well when a ball is knocked past them.
Rico Henry was in some pain from the injury as the image above shows, an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) blow requires a long recovery process hence the Brentford medical staff have confirmed the player won't be able to return to play this season. It's such a shame for Henry to have his season cut short just as he was starting to kick on and impress. It was identifiable from the Arsenal game that Brentford were missing that individual to run down the left channel and cause problems in the attacking third. The first half in particular Brentford seemed to have little to nothing going forward with Mbuemo and Wissa almost being isolated on their own. Henry in this game would have thrived as there was so much space out wide to exploit, his ability in attack has always been overshadowed by his defensive qualities, the full back really is the complete package. Henry is a fan favourite and motivates his team almost like he is the captain so now that the bees are missing that extra fight and experience it's up to the younger players to step up and try and feel the left backs boots.
Brentford's next game is away to Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, so it will be fascinating to discover what Thomas Frank has planned as he continues to try and find a solution to Henry's unfortunate absence.