Brentford suffered a huge injury blow after it was announced David Raya would miss the next four to five months after the Spaniard suffered ligament damage to his left knee in the Bees’ defeat to Leicester City on Sunday afternoon.
Raya’s injury means Alvaro Fernandez will now step into the goalkeeping fray, with the Spaniard only appearing in the Bees’ League Cup ties against Forest Green Rovers and Oldham Athletic. He will start again when Brentford take on Stoke in the same competition, but will now have to suddenly be accustomed to starting every week in the Premier League for the foreseeable future.
Nonetheless, this is nothing new for Fernandez.
The Bees loanee was part of the Spain U21 that saw them called up for an international friendly after many players had tested positive. He made his debut in goal in a comprehensive victory against Lithuania in June – and became Huesca’s first-ever player in their history to represent the Spanish national team.
With one new keeper in, another subsequently comes onto the bench.
With Ellery Balcombe and Patrik Gunnarsson currently out on loan at Burton Albion and Viking respectively, Matthew Cox is likely to serve as Fernandez’s backup for at least until Raya returns.
The 18-year-old was bought from AFC Wimbledon and was initially signed for the club’s B Team, but the youngster is set to suddenly gain invaluable experience just being in a Premier League matchday squad and what that could do for him personally and mentally.
This is not what Brentford envisaged in the script, but what’s happened has happened.
Not that they needed reminding, but it is hugely important that the fans get behind both Fernandez and Cox for the next couple of months whilst the Bees continue their Premier League journey, which has been a great ride so far despite the recent defeats, they must stick together as a team despite an unfortunate injury list to a number of key players.