Brentford’s Welsh international central defender Chris Mepham has left the Club and joined AFC Bournemouth. The 21-year-old joined the Premier League side today, Tuesday 22 January, for an undisclosed fee. Chris completed a medical this afternoon after the deal was agreed and finalised the move soon after, signing a long-term contract with the term currently 12th in the top flight.
Chris joined Brentford early in 2014 as an Under-16 player and turned full-time a few months later after earning a scholarship. He signed his first professional contract in the summer of 2016 to be part of the newly-formed Brentford B squad. Chris then signed an extension to that contract in early 2017 and made his professional debut days later, appearing in the FA Cup win over Eastleigh, before putting pen to paper on a five-year deal in late 2017.
Chris made an impact soon after signing that contract, making his Sky Bet Championship debut against Derby County and his first start against Middlesbrough. He got a further chance over Christmas 2017 and has not looked back. Chris played 23 games in all competitions last season and scored his first goal against Sheffield United on Good Friday.
Phil Giles, Brentford FC Co-Director of Football, said: "Chris has done a fantastic job to establish himself in our first team over the last 18 months. It is to his great credit, but also to all our staff, who have helped him during his years at the Club through our Academy and B Team, that he has developed into a Premier League player. We are pleased he has been able to make a good move for him and wish him well at Bournemouth and with Wales."
Thomas Frank, Brentford FC Head Coach, added: “When I arrived Chris was just breaking through to the First Team and he has worked incredibly hard with all the coaches over the past two years to get to the stage where he is joining an established Premier League team. I have enjoyed working with him over that time and he has done a very good job for us. We are sorry to see him leave but have done well without him in the team in recent weeks and have a strong crop of talented central defenders that can help us progress as a club.”
He made his debut for Wales Under-21 in September 2017, having played for the Under-20 side just months earlier. By March 2018 he was in the full squad and has earned four caps at senior level, including two in competitive UEFA Nations League games. Chris’ departure ends a family connection with Brentford as his uncle was on the Club’s books during the 1960s. He leaves having played 48 games for The Bees in all competitions, 43 in the Championship, and scoring one goal.