Brentford manager Thomas Frank has suggested that Ivan Toney will go on to emulate the success of both Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins and reach the Premier League in the near future.
Toney arrived in the summer from League One Peterborough United for an initial fee of around £5 million, although that could rise to £10 million in add-ons. The forward had large shoes to fill after Watkins had registered 26 league goals last term in the Championship (Sofascore). The 24-year-old has certainly managed to do that firing in an impressive tally of 16 goals and five assists (Sofascore).
That form has unsurprisingly already seen the forward attract the attentions of a couple of Premier League clubs. It has been reported that both Arsenal and West Ham have been interested in the 24-year-old. The Bees will be hoping that he can help fire them to the Premier League, rather than lose him like they have done with Maupay and Watkins.
Quiz: The top 16 Brentford record player departures – Which club did they join though?
Speaking to The Sun about Toney’s excellent start to life with Brentford, Thomas Frank suggested that the Bees have done very well to potentially have found three successive 25 goal plus strikers in the last three campaigns. While he also believes Toney will be in the top-flight in the near future.
He said: “It’s not easy for a player to just step into a team like that. It requires a lot of teamwork.
“Can you name me a club that has produced three different 25-goals-a-season strikers in consecutive years? I can’t off the top of my head.
“He only needs nine goals and I’m confident he’ll do that.
“His movement and finishing inside the box is great. The link-up play is really good. He has a good eye for his team-mates.
“His hold up play in terms of his physicality is top drawer.
“He just needs to do a little bit more work on the link-up, finishing and pressing, which has been so much better since he came here. He just needs to do that consistently.”
On his chances of making the Premier League like Watkins he said: “Yes, 100 per cent.
“Of course, they’re slightly different. Ivan’s heading and positioning in the box is better. Ollie has a bit more pace to run in behind while Ivan can hold and link up a bit more.
“Ivan will be in the Premier League in the future. Hopefully that’ll be with us.”
If you are a club in the Premier League at the moment looking to enhance your attacking options they looking towards Brentford could be the way to go. The Bees have been excellent in recruitment all over the pitch in recent years, but especially up front and both Watkins and Maupay have gone onto show they can also do it in the top-flight.
Toney has been a brilliant addition for the Bees and he has plenty of ability on the ball and the ability to link the play and bring his team-mates into play. That has been emphasised by 1.2 key passes per game and five assists so far this term (Sofascore). It is that quality that marks him out as well as his finishing qualities in the final third.
Were Brentford to not earn promotion this term then you would imagine that it would be difficult for them to keep hold of him. However, for now the focus will be on him being the player to fire them into the top-flight and avoid them from missing out as they did last campaign. As Frank says he certainly has the quality to do that.