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
Leeds United are reportedly keeping tabs on Brentford forward Ivan Toney, according to TEAMtalk.
Toney has been an incredible signing since joining Brentford from Peterborough United in the summer.
The 24-year-old has scored 25 goals in 33 Championship games this season, and is wanted by a host of clubs ahead of the summer.
A lot will depend on whether Brentford win promotion or not, but according to TEAMtalk, Arsenal, West Ham, Wolves, Leicester and Leeds are among those monitoring his situation.
Leeds have enjoyed a positive first season back in the Premier League, and if Marcelo Bielsa stays at Elland Road, he will be keen to strengthen his squad.
Here, we discuss the Whites’ reported interest in Toney…
I do think this would be a smart piece of business for Leeds, if they were to be able to get it done.
While Patrick Bamford has certainly been impressive since stepping up to the Premier League this season, they do not really have a back-up centre forward available to step in should he pick up an injury or suspension.
That is something they will surely have to address if they are to continue moving forward in the top-flight, and the sheer weight of Toney’s goals this season suggest he could be the ideal candidate to fill that role, and would provide not just cover, but also strong competition for Bamford.
But having only signed a long-term contract with Brentford when he joined last summer, you feel it will not be cheap for any club to prise Toney away from the Bees this summer, and certainly not if they win promotion to the Premier League this season, which would put them in an even stroger position to negotiate.
Toney is an exceptional player and looks destined to join the Premier League this term but I’d question whether this is the right move.
I’d love to see how he fares in a Bielsa system but with Patrick Bamford impressing this term and Rodrigo joining in a club-record move last summer, I just can’t see why Bielsa would sign the Brentford man.
There are arguments to be made that Toney could be an improvement on both of the Whites’ options but we know that Bielsa loves players that he trusts, so it’s hard to see him backing this move.
I have no doubt that the Bees striker will be a Premier League player next term but I just don’t think that’ll be with Leeds.
Quiz: Can you remember how many league goals each of Leeds United’s last 15 top goalscorers scored?
Leeds just spent a mammoth fee on a striker recently in Rodrigo, so I think that Toney wouldn’t necessarily be needed – especially with the form that Patrick Bamford has been showing.
Sure, Bamford might end up suffering from second season syndrome, but you can’t deny what a player he has been this season and his performances have made Marcelo Bielsa convert Rodrigo into an attacking midfielder.
There’s no room for two out-and-out strikers in Bielsa’s system, and for the price that Toney would cost, they could improve their team in other areas a lot more, such as in central midfield or at full-back.
Toney would be a fantastic acquisition for a lot of Premier League teams – but not for Leeds in my opinion.