Sitting pretty in fourth place in the Championship this season, Thomas Frank’s Brentford side look set to have another crack at reaching the promised land of the Premier League.
The Bees have for so long now been the “nearly men” and once again failed to reach the heights of the English footballing giants after losing out in last year’s play-off final against Fulham – albeit in extra time.
Brentford are having another stellar season though and are comfortably the highest scorers in the division having scored a staggering 62 goals in their 35 league games, that’s nine more than a Norwich side who sit 10 points clear at the top of the table.
Every great team needs a top striker to fire them to glory, but Brentford’s Ivan Toney is going above and beyond the call of duty. The former Peterborough striker has smashed home an incredible 26 goals in 34 games, five more than Teemu Pukki who sits in second on the top goal scorers’ charts.
Toney was signed by Brentford last season as a direct replacement for another lethal striker in Ollie Watkins who completed his Premier League move to Aston Villa. The Northampton born striker, Toney, became Peterborough’s record transfer fee after moving for what was thought to be a £15m deal which included add ons.
Quiz: Have each of these 24 ex-Brentford players retired or not?
Replacing someone with the quality that Ollie Watkins had was never going to be easy and despite scoring 40 goals in 76 games in League One there was no guarantee that Toney would be able to handle the step-up to Championship level.
The 24-year-old quickly silenced all of his doubters though as he scored his first goal for Brentford, a penalty, in a 1-1 draw with Millwall in September.
Possessing the Championship’s top scorer is obviously fantastic for Brentford, Toney’s goals alone are helping them gain valuable points towards a hard-earned promotion. However, it also comes at a price as preying eyes will always be drawn to a proven finisher in Toney.
It has been reported that Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds side are preparing to take a ‘gamble’ on the clinical striker.
I’m sure that Toney will want to repay the faith shown in him by Brentford to give him another shot at a higher level but when the Premier League come calling he shouldn’t turn it down.
Brentford take the lead! 🐝
Darragh Lenihan brings down Tariqe Fosu in the area and Ivan Toney puts away the spot-kick! 🎯
Watch live on Sky Sports Football now! pic.twitter.com/rYUR6ymtBG
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) March 12, 2021
The 24-year-old striker will of course be looking to be the man to finally bring Brentford up to the Premier League where many say they belong.
However, we’ve seen in recent seasons just how tough The Bees find the nerve-racking Championship play-offs, and if they fail to make it to the big time once more Toney must forget loyalty and show his quality on the biggest stage.
Toney will have unfinished business in the Premier League after never really being given a shot by Newcastle United who loaned him out six times in three years before finally selling him to Peterborough in 2018.
The striker will want to prove that he always had what it took to play in the Premier League and will want to continue to score goals as clinically as he has done down the English league pyramid.
Whether it’s with Brentford or another Premier League side Toney simply has to be playing football in the top division of English football next season.
He’s a talent that cannot be wasted.