This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Brentford could face a real fight to keep hold of Ivan Toney this summer.
The Bees striker has 29 goals and registered 10 assists in 39 appearances for Thomas Frank’s side so far this term as they look to secure a spot in the Premier League next term.
It’s no surprise to see clubs sniffing around his services, but with Football League World exclusively revealing that any deal for the player will cost £35million it means that clubs will need to be sure that he’s the right man.
Arsenal, West Ham United and Leeds United are all reported to be keen, but is Toney worth the £35million asking price?
The team at FLW have their say…
It’s a tough one for me.
It will be interesting to see how clubs approach this summer. 99.9% of clubs have made a pretty big loss over the last year, and finances are likely to be quite tight.
You feel, though, that a strong end to the season for West Ham could see David Moyes look to go one further next season, and I can see them splashing the cash on a proven goalscorer like Toney.
He seems to be the missing piece in their jigsaw as I’m not the greatest of fans of Michael Antonio being a striker for the long-term.
I can’t see Leeds paying £35million when they have Bamford, and the same with Arsenal with Aubameyang.
You can fully understand Brentford maintaining a firm stance over the valuation of Toney following his excellent campaign for them. They have him under contract for a long period still so they are in a very strong position when it comes to negotiating a fee for him if other sides do want to take him. That means they might have to be prepared to pay a premium.
£35 million though is a huge amount of money to spend on a Championship forward and although Ollie Watkins arrived at Aston Villa for just under £30 million last summer, it does seem a little too steep. That is especially the case if you view that price tag in relation to current climate of the transfer market where clubs are struggling financially.
The likes of Arsenal, West Ham and maybe even Leeds could likely afford to spend that amount of money on one player this summer. However, whether they would want to spend a lot of their transfer budget on the forward instead of maybe bringing in two or three players with that cash remains to be seen.
Personally, I would say that unless the teams chasing him get desperate they would not be likely to fork out that much money for him. Around the £20 million to £30 million mark seems like the most they would want to stretch to.
I’m really quite torn by it.
In normal market conditions I could see sides going for this price to be fair and I think Brentford have every right to ask for such a fee.
Where I’m struggling, though, is with the financial cost of the pandemic and what that will do to clubs in this window.
West Ham could be well placed to get him if they make the Champions League and Leeds and Arsenal are not paupers but I do think all three, and anyone else, will try and knock Brentford down from this valuation.
I do see West Ham as perhaps the favourites right now, though, just looking at the way they seem set to finish this season and a European spot could allow them to fork out this kind of cash.