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As the Premier League's best, brightest and richest cast their eye over the on-field talent at Brentford, one wonders when they will do the same for the man who has forged these players into such a widely-admired squad. Surely, it is only a matter of time before Thomas Frank attracts the same admiration as Ivan Toney, David Raya and Bryan Mbeumo?

His resume alone is the sort that for most of football history would have inevitably led to a big job by now. After time with the Danish youth sides, he proved himself to be a stabilizing influence on one of Denmark's historic clubs in Brondby. Taking the helm at a Brentford side that had been blindsided by the death of technical director Robert Rowan, he did not take long to establish the Bees as promotion contenders. Since 2021, a club with the wage budget of a relegation contender has never looked like one for more than a week or two. Shorn of their talismanic forward Toney, their starting goalkeeper Raya and with their wing back positions racked with major injuries, Brentford have had the sixth best expected goal (xG) difference in the Premier League this season.

This is the sort of coaching that for most of this sport's history -- right up until the moment where the wealth of the biggest clubs effectively unmoored them from the rest -- would long since have got the Dane an offer to take the step up. Indeed there is an argument to be made that the Liverpool of Jurgen Klopp's early years, one who shrewdly spotted the world class talent away from traditional big names, would have Frank right near the top of the list of potential successors for their head coach. As they saw Klopp's struggles in his final year at Borussia Dortmund, checked the analytics and concluded nothing had changed when it came to the great man's ability to coach a team, shouldn't they see what the 50 year old has achieved and give very serious consideration to his candidacy.

For his part Frank is not exactly talking about his future like a man who thinks he is any more than an outsider for the impending vacancy at Anfield. "There's a lot of rumours out there," he said this week. "I think we all have kind of an ego and the ego likes that little bit of sugar but at the end of the day, I'm at Brentford. I'm very happy here.

"Do I have ambitions? Yes. Am I going to stay at Brentford forever? Maybe, but probably not. So who knows what's going to happen in the future? What I know is that I'm here at Brentford and I'm very happy with it."

There are of course factors to hold against a Frank candidacy. His side have punched against their weight against top sides, including Liverpool, who visit the Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday in pursuit of their first away league win since 1938, but have done so with an approach more befitting their circumstances. The same is true across their three seasons in the Premier League, in each of which Brentford have averaged less than 50 percent possession. Indeed they have only hit the 60 percent mark that is par for the course at top sides in eight games total. Frank has built a side that excels at set pieces -- their 38 dead ball goals since the start of the 2021-22 season is bettered only by Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool -- and counterattacks, with the average Brentford goal coming from a sequence lasting just 5.8 seconds. That is not how the best of the best tend to play.

Beyond the fact that Frank has never had to coach a team to break down low blocks, though, what is there that suggests he could not do the job? After all, he coached a more possession-oriented team in the Championship before concluding faster than anyone else that his side could not do that when they took a step up. Ever since, he has proven himself to be more tactically chameleonic than most. Having lost the Raya to Toney cannon that was such an effective weapon last season, Frank subtly altered Brentford to be a team more prepared to cycle possession round their own third before firing balls over the top for Yoanne Wissa and Bryan Mbuemo.

Toney's return does not seem to have challenged Frank. It is only four Premier League games so far, including one against Manchester City that means so much of a team's usual approach being thrown out of the window, but Brentford now carry possession less, go long more and stretch the pitch wider. That a player who had been suspended for eight months has made such an immediate and profound impact, scoring three times already, is a testament to the quality of his coaching. So is the immediate form of Sergio Reguilon, the Tottenham loanee who looks like the wing back Spurs had been hunting for years, and the revival of Neal Maupay

That has not gone unnoticed beyond the confines of the Premier League. The deal may have fallen through on deadline day but there is a reason why Antonio Nusa, the Norwegian Neymar, picked "a bus stop in Hounslow" over Tottenham, before a questionabe medical scuttled the January deal. He trusted that Frank's Brentford was a place where his talent could be honed. It is not a given that the most star-studded dressing rooms would be blown away by the Dane just because of the talent he unlocked in Toney, Ezri Konsa, Ollie Watkins, Mbeumo. The biggest names are often the hardest to convince, but Frank at least deserves the chance to one day win them.

Ultimately, were Liverpool to conclude that Xabi Alonso is the man to succeed Klopp no one could blame them. Bayer Leverkusen's triumph over Bayern Munich last week is about as convincing a single game pitch for elite coaching status as it is possible to envisage. But, once that obvious blue chip young candidate is off the market there are an awful lot of clubs at the highest level of the sport who would be well advised to set their eyes on Frank. If he can achieve what he has at Brentford on relative pennies, imagine what might be possible when he has big bucks at his disposal.