Aston Villa are reportedly interested in Rico Henry, according to the Daily Mail.
The report claims that Aston Villa are one of several clubs keen on the left-back, following Brentford’s failure to win promotion to the Premier League.
Foreign clubs PSV Eindhoven and Olympiakos are said to be keen whilst fellow Premier League sides Leeds United, West Brom, Brighton, and West Ham are also mentioned.
Of course, Aston Villa could have a huge advantage in any pursuit of Henry, as current boss Dean Smith knows him well.
The Aston Villa boss managed Henry at both Walsall and Brentford. In fact, he was the manager at Griffin Park when Henry made the switch to London.
Smith handed Henry his professional debut at the Banks’s Stadium and was pivotal to his reported (Express and Star) potential £5 million move to West London in 2016.
“Rico is a player I worked with at Walsall and threw him into the first team at 16 in pre-season friendlies and he more than held his own in those games, he had no fear, and was playing in League One shortly afterwards,” Smith told the official Brentford website in 2016. “He’s a talented player, fearless, and likes to bring the ball to opponents.
“He will provide competition down the left side along with Callum Elder and Tom Field. I’m surprised and delighted we’ve got Rico to the football club as I thought a Premier League side would have signed him by now. His development hasn’t stopped and there’s a lot more to come from him.”
Henry would also be heading back to Birmingham with the move, which also gives Aston Villa an edge.
Injury troubles severely impacted his first three seasons with the Bees. However, Henry played in 51 games for Brentford last season and is finally living up to the potential Smith saw in him many years ago.
Aston Villa currently have Matt Targett and Neil Taylor who can play in the left-back role, so a move for Henry would surely see one of the pair move on.
But if Aston Villa are indeed interested, they might have a better chance than anyone else in snapping up the 23-year-old full-back.