It’s no secret that the Championship’s top scorer Ollie Watkins is on his way out of Brentford after they failed to secure promotion to the Premier League. Therefore, the signing of Ivan Toney is a massive boost to the Bees’ chances of securing that ticket to the top division next season.
24 league goals for Peterborough United last season was the best tally in the division by some distance last season, nine of the next best to be exact, and is a clear indication as to why Toney has made this move to the next level.
A slow start
It has not all been plain sailing for the 24-year-old so far in his career, who started at Northampton Town, and then moved to Premier League outfit Newcastle United before becoming a mainstay in League One.
Before his move to The Posh, the Englishman only managed to find the net 25 times in the third division in a troublesome five-year spell where he played at four different clubs on-loan from Newcastle.
His fortunes quickly changed at Peterborough however, with manager Darren Ferguson deploying the striker in a 3-4-1-2 formation which suited him perfectly and resulted in a 40-goal return over his two seasons at the club.
Made in Peterborough
The Posh’s expansive style, which produced a league-best 68 goals last season, seven clear of the next best, with the pacey, skilful Sriki Dembele partnering Toney up top was the key to the latter scoring at a rate of 0.76 goals per 90 over 32 league games.
Toney managed 122 shots last season which was more than anyone in the league and highlights how proficient Peterborough’s system was at creating chances for its talisman.
The 24-year-old’s pace, intelligence, spatial awareness and direct running made him impossible to man-mark and a nightmare for defenders last season and meant he received the plenty of times in dangerous areas. His 5.29 touches in the box per 90 were only bettered by Bristol Rovers’ Timmy Abraham and showcases Toney’s vigilance in the opposition area.
Also, as a strike partner to Dembele, Toney would often drift out wide or drop back to demonstrate his playmaking abilities, which was how he picked up the majority of his five assists last season.
So what are Brentford getting for their money?— BBC Cambs Sport (@BBCCambsSport) August 31, 2020
Ivan Toney's Peterborough career in numbers...
🏟 94 apps
▶️ 77 starts
🔁 17 sub
⚽️ 49 goals
🎯 17 assists
🥅 66 goal involvements (in 77 starts!)
‼️ 2,580 headed clearances from defensive corners
👉 https://t.co/0b6JnpL3Wa pic.twitter.com/jG89764wjR
How does he compare to Watkins?
Compared to Watkins, who is also 24, Toney stacks up well with just one less goal and one more assist despite the former having 1288 more minutes on the pitch this season. Additionally, the new arrival is aerially superior with 5.5 aerial battles won compared to Watkins who managed just 2.2.
Of course, some stats must be taken with a pinch of salt as Toney played in a lower division and solely played as a striker last season, which can’t be said for the man he seems to be replacing at London club.
Nonetheless, Brentford's recruitment plan cannot be questioned, especially when it comes to forward players, and with that being said fans of the club should be excited with the arrival of Toney.