How would Brentford’s Ivan Toney improve West Ham’s attack?

Paul Macdonald
Paul Macdonald Updated: 20 May 2021 16:54 BST 3 min read
How would Brentford’s Ivan Toney improve West Ham’s attack?

Having been linked with a move for Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong earlier this week, West Ham United have now been credited with an interest in another former Newcastle United youngster currently storming the Championship, Brentford’s Ivan Toney, per Eurosport.

The 24-year-old is proving another great find as part of the Bees’ incredibly sophisticated transfer strategy, which revolves around buying, developing and profiting from their star players. Having laid the foundations for his impressive Football League career at Peterborough United, Toney has followed in Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins by scoring goals at the West London Championship side. He currently has 22 to his name this term and sits at the top of the league’s scoring charts after 27 games. Brentford are also second in the Championship table, one point behind Norwich City with a game in hand.

It hasn’t taken long for other clubs to take note of his superb form. Arsenal have already been linked, and now the Hammers have seemingly identified him as an option to replace Sebastien Haller, after his move to Ajax last month.

Do West Ham need another striker?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. While the sale of Haller came out of the blue somewhat, it was said that he isn’t David Moyes’ type of attacking player. Toney is more mobile with better technique and quick feet with a real eye for goal. His game is incredibly well-rounded and he certainly would fit the bill at the London Stadium.

Michail Antonio has doubled up as a striker for much of his West Ham career but is desperate for support. After a move for Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri failed to materialise in January, signing Toney could be an easier option, especially with Brexit complicating deals across Europe these days.

West Ham are not short on attacking talent, having scoured the Championship for Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen last year and converted the loan of another Brentford star, Said Benrahma into a permanent deal. Jesse Lingard’s temporary arrival from Manchester United has also given them a lift, but they need an out-and-out striker. Toney fits the bill.

How much would Toney cost West Ham?

Using Watkins at £28m and Benrahma at £25m as reference, Toney is not likely to go cheap. Brentford hold all the cards, and will have planned to keep the striker for longer than a year when they signed him from Peterborough. Brexit, and the knowledge that top clubs may well look further down the ladder for signings in the future, may also strengthen their hand.

According to Transfermarkt, Toney is valued at £9m. While the fee for his move to Brentford was undisclosed, it can be assumed it was around that region and Thomas Frank will be looking to get at least three times that amount if he is to sell anytime soon. Toney is at the right age and scoring goals; he may have only appeared fleetingly in the Premier League for Newcastle, but there is little doubt that he would make an impact now. Moyes may have to part with upward of £30m to get him.

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