The incredible 2020/21 stats of Brentford playoff hero Ivan Toney
Brentford will play Premier League football for the first time in their history in the 2021/22 season and a major reason for their promotion is the form of striker Ivan Toney.
Signed from Peterborough for £10 million, the forward was inevitably on target in Saturday’s playoff final as he struck after 10 minutes from the penalty spot. The manner in which he strode up to the ball before dispatching it coolly into the corner of the goal oozed confidence and set the platform for this Brentford side, which has so often stumbled at key moments, to win the game.
After Emiliano Marcondes added a second following a swift counter, Toney came close to sealing victory before the break with a thunderous volley that bounced off the underside of the bar but just the wrong side of the goal line. It would have been his first goal from outside the box this season.
He has been highly successful as a replacement for Ollie Watkins, sold to Aston Villa last summer for a £28 million initial fee, and as Brentford, who thrive on their buy-low sell-high philosophy, begin for life in the Premier League, there is no doubt that he is their most valuable asset.
West Ham and Arsenal have both been linked with the 25-year-old in the recent past, though his value has just taken a dramatic jump thanks to Brentford’s promotion.
Ivan Toney in 2020/21
|Non-penalty goals per 90||0.49||10|
|Goals + assists||42||1|
|Non-penalty contribution per 90||0.71||6|
|Big chances created||9||12|
Why is Toney so highly rated?
Ivan Toney is a player who has increasingly guaranteed goals. There were encouraging signs during his various spells in League One on loan from Newcastle, though it was only once he moved to Peterborough that he enjoyed the consistency to score double figures in a single season.
Having scored 24 times in 32 matches for the Posh in 2019-20, he earned his switch to Brentford and has become even more prolific. Indeed, in league play this season, he has found the net 32 times to top score in the league. And then came his playoff final penalty.
Toney, though, offers more than just goals – he is also comfortable with his back to goal and capable of laying on chances for others. With 10 assists to his credit, he leads his side in decisive passes for the season along with winger Bryan Mbuemo.
West Ham had been linked with Toney before Saturday’s victory over Swansea, but their hopes of grabbing the striker have likely gone thanks to Brentford’s success. They will not be the last Premier League club to be linked with the prolific hitman.