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Using statistical analysis to sign players, ditching their academy and scrapping the captaincy are some of the innovations that have turned Brentford into Championship contenders

With the transfer deadline looming on Thursday, you could forgive scurrying rivals for peering over the wall at Brentford in envy. It may seem an odd thing to say given they have lost their captain, John Egan, and the winger Florian Jozefzoon to Championship competitors this summer but few clubs navigate transfer windows better.

Brentford do not panic but rather rebuild and, once more, Dean Smith’s stimulating side – top of the tree after a thumping 5-1 first-game win – have plans for surprising the field.

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