Midfield player Ryan Woods has left Brentford and joined Sky Bet Championship rivals Stoke City on loan. The Clubs have agreed an option for the loan move to be made permanent in January. The 24-year-old completed a medical at Stoke yesterday, Friday 24 August, and finalised the temporary switch this morning. A fee has been agreed so Ryan can become a Stoke player on a permanent basis when the Transfer Window opens again in January.
Ryan spent three years in West London and has been almost ever-present since he signed from Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed fee. He played 42 games in his first season at the Club, 45 in 2016/17 and 40 in 2017/18. He has, however, only played once this term – in the Carabao Cup win at Southend United – and has not played a minute of Brentford’s Championship season which has seen The Bees take eight points from four games and sit fourth in the table.
The Staffordshire-born midfield player came through the ranks at Shrewsbury and signed a professional contract at the age of 18 in 2012. He helped Shrewsbury to win promotion from Sky Bet League Two in 2014/15. That year he was named as one of the best ten young players in the Football League by FourFourTwo magazine and earned a place in the League Two PFA Team of the Season. He also finished second in the League Two Player of the Season poll conducted for the Football League Awards.
Since moving to West London he has established himself in the Brentford midfield, usually playing in a deeper role. He has played 128 games in all competitions for The Bees and scored three goals. He made 122 league appearances for the Club. Ryan was named Supporters’ Player of the Year at the end of last season, having won the Players’ Player of the Year prize for the 2016/17 season.
Dean Smith, Brentford FC Head Coach, said: “We are sorry to see Ryan leave as he has been a valuable member of the team for the past three seasons. A club has met the valuation for Ryan, albeit after an initial loan period, and whilst sorry to see him go, we believe that we can still become a stronger team with the players in our squad. We would all like to thank him for his contributions and wish him and his family well for the future.”
Phil Giles, Brentford FC Co-Director of Football, added: "Ryan has been a brilliant player for us since he signed on the last day of the transfer window in 2015. I think all parties have felt for a while that this summer would be the right moment for him to move on to a new challenge. There was interest from other clubs earlier in the window but Stoke seems like the right move at the right time for both Ryan and Brentford. I fully expect the option to be triggered in January and so we wish Ryan well for his future career.”