There is widely expected to be a summer transfer window tug-of-war for Brentford striker Ivan Toney after the 24-year-old made the step up to the Championship with absolute ease.
Toney was brought in by the Bees from League One outfit Peterborough for an initial fee of £5 million, and like other forwards Posh have sold, their was much intrigue as to how he would do stepping up a level.
Not many will have predicted Toney to have quite the impact he has done, scoring 26 goals and adding nine assists to that tally in 34 games – and he’s already exceeded the 25-goal tally that Ollie Watkins set last season.
Of course though Watkins’ exploits didn’t finish in Brentford getting promoted to the Premier League, and there’s a chance that the current campaign may end the same way.
The Bees face strong competition from the likes of Swansea, Watford, Reading and an in-form Barnsley for two promotion spots, with many feeling as though Norwich are uncatchable at the top right now.
Regardless of which league Brentford end up in next season, a huge bid may tempt them into cashing in on their prized asset, with the club probably looking for a fee north of £30 million for Toney.
That price would be of interest to several Premier League clubs, with TEAMtalk linking West Ham United, Arsenal and Leeds United with Toney.
Former Hammers and Celtic striker Frank McAvennie has given his verdict on a potential move to Elland Road for Toney, where he could potentially line-up alongside Patrick Bamford despite Marcelo Bielsa’s tendency to use just one striker.
Quiz: Can you remember how many league goals each of Leeds United’s last 15 top goalscorers scored?
“Toney has set the Championship alight but can he do it in the Premier League? Many players have tried and failed when they have come up from the Championship,” McAvennie told Football Insider.
“Just because they set it on fire they think it will be easy but that is rarely the case.
“It is always a big gamble to sign a player from the Championship. Can Toney make the step up? He would be playing against a lot better defenders.”
There are always obvious concerns when a player makes a step up from the Championship to the Premier League, with some past prolific second tier strikers just not being able to do it at the top level.
With Toney though there should be no immediate worries as he seems to be able to do it all – he can finish, hold it up, assist players – and that’s why he’s highly-coveted.
Watkins has made the jump to Aston Villa with consummate ease, and Toney could make a similar impact – whether that is with Brentford or another team.