Nathan Collins has transferred to Brentford from Wolverhampton Wanderers for a club-record undisclosed fee.
The Republic of Ireland international has passed a medical and put pen to paper on a six-year contract, with a club option for an additional two years. Collins is the Bees’ second first-team signing of the summer following the arrival of goalkeeper Mark Flekken last month.
The 6ft 4in centre-back makes the move to west London following one season at Molineux. He made 31 appearances for Wolves in all competitions last term, 26 of which came in the Premier League.
Collins has represented the Republic of Ireland on 14 occasions and was recently named the FAI’s men’s Player of the Year.
“I’m very pleased that we’ve managed to sign Nathan,” said head coach Thomas Frank. “He’s a very talented centre-back and still young.
“He has a lot of very good abilities that we value a lot. He’s a composed and calm defender. His heading in both boxes is a big thing, both in open play and from set-pieces, which is massive in the Premier League.
“I also like his ability on the ball. He can carry the ball out of defence and also has the composure to find the right pass during build-up play.
“His character is really good, and we know that character is everything. He will fit into our culture, I have no doubt about that. I see leadership potential in Nathan. He’s a perfect Brentford player - hungry and ambitious with a desire to learn.”
Collins began his career in Dublin with youth club Cherry Orchard.
He joined Stoke City in January 2016 and made his first-team debut for the Potters in April 2019 against Swansea City.
Collins started the first five matches of the 2019/20 season and was given the captain's armband by Nathan Jones against Wigan Athletic and Leeds United at the age of 18, becoming Stoke's youngest skipper in the process. He would go on to make a further 12 appearances that season.
Collins stepped up his involvement the following campaign, playing 27 games and scoring his first senior goals against Norwich City and Middlesbrough.
Dominant in the air and comfortable with the ball at his feet, Collins’ impressive form for Stoke put him on the radar of Premier League clubs.
He joined Burnley in June 2021 and took the step up in his stride, turning out 19 times for the Clarets in the top flight - twice alongside Ben Mee - and contributing to five clean sheets. He also found the net in victories over Everton and Southampton.
Collins was a bright spark for Burnley in what was ultimately a disappointing season, as the Clarets suffered relegation to the Championship.
But the 22-year-old would not return to the second tier, making the move to Molineux in July 2022 and gaining more Premier League experience during the 2022/23 campaign.