Canos set for warm Colney welcome and former Canaries loanee could also feature for Brentford
PUBLISHED: 12:31 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:11 23 July 2019
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One Brentford player will get a particularly warm welcome if he’s in action at Colney on Wednesday afternoon, as the Championship club provide the next pre-season test for Norwich City.
Sergi Canos played an unexpectedly important role in the Canaries' promotion to the Premier League earlier this year, earning cult status among supporters for his role in denying Leeds.
Cast your mind back to Easter Monday, when Daniel Farke found himself having to pick up some of his disappointed players after they had sunk disappointedly to the turf after a 2-2 draw at Stoke.
A second opportunity to confirm promotion had slipped past, with the Potters equalising twice to leave the eventual champions frustrated, with Sheffield United winning 3-0 at Hull to close the gap at the summit to three points.
It meant that a Leeds win at Brentford in the day's late kick-off really would have tightened things up at the top, as just three points would separate first from third with two games to go. Enter Sergi...
The Spaniard was widely considered to have been given a raw deal by Alex Neil after being signed from Liverpool for £2.5million in 2016, only to be sold to the Bees for a similar fee six months later after just six senior appearances.
Canos made sure City fans would continue to have a soft spot for him though, when he set up Neal Maupay for the opener and then made sure of a 2-0 win for Brentford, to leave Leeds six points adrift - and Norwich on the cusp of the Premier League.
Of course Farke's team went on to seal the deal with victory over Blackburn at Carrow Road in their next game, before wrapping up the title at Aston Villa on the final day.
All of which means the Bees face the top-flight Canaries in a behind-closed-doors friendly as they prepare for an opening-day home clash with Birmingham City, beginning their final season at Griffin Park before moving to a new 17,000 capacity stadium.
Canos, 22, has gone on to prove himself a good player at Championship level, with seven goals and seven assists from 44 league games last season - and is sure to get a warm welcome for this afternoon's friendly (4.30pm kick-off).
Another former City player who could be returning to Colney is Marcus Edwards, who is reportedly training with the Bees after being left out of Tottenham's pre-season plans.
Once unwisely dubbed a "mini Messi" by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, the skilful England U20 international has failed to live up to that tag and endured an unsuccessful loan at Norwich during the second half of 2017-18.
Edwards made just one appearance, after shaking off an initial back problem, as a late substitute in a 2-0 home defeat to Fulham and was only named on the bench for three other games.
He did finally get his senior career up and running in the Dutch top flight with Excelsior last season though, with three goals and five assists in 30 games.
With a year left on his Spurs contract, Brentford fans will be particularly keen to see if he features - and the same goes for some of their key players.
Star striker Neal Maupay and talented winger Said Benrahma are both valuable assets linked with big-money moves away this summer and neither have yet featured in pre-season.
The latest of many transfer links for both this summer suggest former boss Dean Smith is happy to spend big to take the duo to Aston Villa following their promotion, with both said to be keen on the move as well.
Creative midfielder Romaine Sawyers is also reportedly being chase by West Brom, with suggestions that a £2.2million offer has been rejected.
The Bees slumped after Smith's exit for Aston Villa in October but eventually made progress under Thomas Frank, who stepped up from assistant as he had previous experience in charge of Danish side Brondby, where he managed Teemu Pukki.
They won four of their last six matches to finish 11th though, securing a fifth successive top-half finish in the Championship, 10 points adrift of the play-offs.
They have already sold defender Ezri Konsa to Villa for £12m but have already spent as well, with the notable arrival of Leeds and Sweden defender Pontus Jansson in a deal reportedly worth around £5m.
Danish midfielders Mathias Jensen and Christian Norgaard have both arrived for in excess of £3m. Jensen from Celta Viga and Norgaard from Fiorentina, while Barnsley defender Ethan Pinnock and Blackburn keeper David Raya were also reported to have cost around £3m - teeing up an intriguing friendly.