Igor Thiago’s ability to hold up the ball but also become a link man for Club Brugge may be what has tempted Brentford into spending €37m on him ahead of the summer.

That’s according to Het Nieuwsblad, who provide a tactical view of the striker today and ‘the analysis that Brentford will also have made’ on him.

Thiago is set to join Thomas Frank’s side in the summer after they agreed a €37m move to sign him from Club Brugge at the end of the season.

The surprise deal was announced last week, catching almost everyone off guard given the player had not been linked with a move beforehand.

The 22-year-old will arrive at Brentford following an impressive first season with Brugge, where he has managed 26 goals and four assists in 41 games in all competitions so far.

It’s not just those numbers that will have attracted Brentford, though, according to Het Nieuwsblad, who explain Thiago’s strengths go beyond putting the ball in the back of the net.

They detail how Club Brugge have systematically started playing more long balls into the big striker because it’s proven effective, with his ability to hold the ball and join in the link up play proving to be an effective weapon.

He is adept at pinning opponents high up the pitch, which allows his team to then attack, and the trick has proven to be effective on more than one occasion already.

Thiago has become the ‘permanent point of contact’ and shown he is capable of playing the key passes in the move too, although these are not shown in statistics as they count as neither an assist nor pre-assist.

Either way his influence on Club Brugge’s game has grown as they’ve tailored their game to him and its something they have ‘probably noticed at Brentford’ and which may have led them to spending their money.

The idea seems to be that Thiago can play a very similar role to the one Ivan Toney currently does and, with him likely on his way in the summer, they’ve moved quickly to secure a replacement who does the same thing.

Whether that actually proves to be the case remains to be seen but the analysis is there and may have convinced Brentford they’re doing the right thing.