Brentford Buy Mark Flekken from Freiburg in £11m Deal – David Raya Price Set at £40m
Sky Sports News report that Brentford have wrapped up an £11m deal, to secure the services of Mark Flekken, Freiburg’s goalkeeper. This move coincides with the club’s current No 1, David Raya, being placed on the transfer list with a £40m valuation.
Embodying Brentford’s first acquisition of the summer, Dutch international Flekken has committed to a four-year deal with the west London club. Expressing delight at Flekken’s signing, Thomas Frank, Brentford’s head coach, noted:
“We’re very pleased to have Mark on board. He possesses quality in abundance and will bolster our goalkeeper lineup. His track record includes an impressive couple of seasons with Freiburg, helping them secure a fifth-place finish and a Europa League spot. His addition will undoubtedly elevate the performance of our squad.”
Further expounding on Flekken’s abilities, Frank noted:
“He’s a terrific shot-stopper and is comfortable with ball handling. His distribution skills are remarkable.”
Flekken’s Dream Realised
Speaking to the Brentford official website, an enthusiastic Flekken shared:
“Had you mentioned seven years ago, while I was in the third division of Germany, that I would one day play in the Premier League, I would have knocked you down! Now, this dream has come to fruition, signifying a significant stride in my career. I am hopeful that we, as a club and a squad, can continue this journey.”
Flekken, who describes himself as a ‘ball-playing goalkeeper’, aims to infuse tranquillity within the squad while steering his team on the pitch. “Unity is the key to maximising our potential, which is the central ethos I intend to establish,” he added.
David Raya’s £40m Price Tag
In the meantime, Frank confirmed on Sunday that current No 1 David Raya is available for transfer. The Spanish international, with a year left on his contract, has declined multiple extension offers from Brentford. “David is the only player we have up for sale. However, we remain a selling club and would consider moving players for exorbitant offers. Currently, everyone is content at Brentford,” Frank disclosed.
Flekken: From Duisburg to Freiburg
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports’ Adam Bate in March 2023, Mark Flekken chronicled his journey that echoes Brentford’s underdog spirit. Gaining recognition as a regular in the Bundesliga at the age of 28, his path was strewn with challenges. From the infamous ‘drinking goalkeeper’ incident at Duisburg to confronting injuries, Flekken has demonstrated resilience, a trait that resonates with Thomas Frank’s expectations.
The Dutch international shared, “I recognise where I’ve come from and the efforts it took to get here. I had to step back to the third league after a severe knee injury in 2014 to rekindle my career. The subsequent period saw continuous improvement, only to be interrupted by another setback, an elbow injury. It was a difficult time, but it turned out well eventually.”
Flekken credits these hardships for shaping him both as a player and as an individual, leading to a better appreciation of his physical health and maturity on the field.
As part of Freiburg, Flekken has been instrumental in their incredible journey, helping them qualify for Europe in two consecutive seasons. At Brentford, he is now looking forward to the challenge of replacing David Raya.
“I aim to bring a sense of calmness to the team, so my teammates can rely on me. I believe in offering support rather than reprimanding mistakes. My goalkeeping style involves active participation in the build-up play, while also maintaining the awareness to step back when needed. Ultimately, my focus will always be on saving as many shots as possible,” Flekken concluded.
With his latest move to Brentford, Flekken’s extraordinary journey continues, providing a beacon of hope for all those seeking to break barriers and reach for the sky in the world of football.