Ivan Toney continues to surprise in the Premier League
“I see myself at the top, I see myself as the best player on the pitch. You must have this mentality. » No, these words, spoken after Brentford’s victory against Brighton (2-0, 11th day of the Premier League) on Friday, do not come from the mouths of Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah or Harry Kane. But that of Ivan Toney, the prolific 26-year-old English striker who has been making the Bees happy since 2020. Revealed late in Her Majesty’s Kingdom, the Northampton native has a career unlike any other, which has allowed him to to rise in the ranks of the Three Lions, while today he is the envy of many in England.
A complicated journey…
Trained in Northampton, where he remains the youngest player in club history, Ivan Toney joined Newcastle in 2019 at the age of 19. Labeled as a great hope of English football, he timidly discovered the Premier League (10 minutes of play in 2 games, against Manchester United and Chelsea) before spending the following three seasons on loan, in four different clubs in League One (Barnsley, Shrewbury, Scunthorpe, Wigan). After a permanent transfer to the third division, under the colors of Peterborough (49 goals in 94 games), it is in Brentford that he bounces back. And where everything will accelerate for him.
The man with many tattoos, including that of a cat observing his reflection in a puddle and seeing an imposing tiger there, has never doubted himself. “It shows that it doesn’t matter how other people see you. If you see yourself as a winner, you are going to be one. And it doesn’t just work in football. If you want to achieve something, no matter what other people think, you have to make sure you achieve it”explained the strong striker in the duels, technically skilled and intelligent in the surface in this regard.
Before exploding, late, at the highest level
In his first season with the London club, he scored 31 goals in 45 Championship games (plus 2 in 3 play-off games) to allow Brentford to regain their place in the Premier League, after 74 years of waiting. After carrying the Bees, Ivan Toney has had a very decent first year for his real first steps in the top flight (12 pawns in 33 PL games). He confirms today all the beautiful things seen last season. By giving the win against Brighton, he took his goalscoring tally to 55 in 100 appearances for Brentford. Confirming in passing his almost insolent ease on penalties: Toney remains on 20 successful attempts in this exercise, having even missed one (25/26) during his career.
« I don’t even know where I’m going until I shoot the ball for penaltieshe admitted, after the game against the Seagulls on Friday. The guard tries to talk to me, but I pull away, thinking about different things, like being on a beach with a cocktail. » An atypical technique which succeeds him more than well therefore. The man from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who has a very strong relationship with his mother (he considers himself « a mama’s boy »), is even one of the most prolific attackers in the Kingdom. Since 2018, only Kane and Salah have scored more than him across the Channel. In 2022, Kane (21 goals) and Heung-min Son (18 goals) are also the only ones to have shaken the nets more than him (15 pawns). Proof that he has made a name for himself in the elite.
Global Goal 2022
His great prowess opened the doors of the English selection to him. Selected by Gareth Southgate for the first time during the last rally to face Italy and Germany, Ivan Toney has not yet honored his first cape with the Three Lions. “I’m ready to go. Everyone is talking about England. I was disappointed not to play last time, but we have to keep working. I continue to do what I do best: score goals and do well for the team. With England, you play with the best of the best. Without taking the big head, I felt in my place. I felt I was ready for this step and whenever it comes I will be ready. I’m just trying to do my best for the team and if that’s enough to fly to the World Cup then great. […] If I get to the World Cup, I hope I will have a few minutes there”he launched, in all honesty, on Friday.
Ivan Toney can in any case count on the unconditional support of his trainer, Thomas Frank. « I think he’s getting closer and closer to being a world-class goalscorer. It’s up to Gareth to choose, but Ivan has something special that few have. It would be a great thing if he got the first selection, it would be amazing. It would be the first time in 80 years for this club. I’m biased, but I think he’s a perfect fit for the team if you want that flexibility. » While waiting to find out if he will be part of the plane that will fly to Qatar in a few weeks, Ivan Toney knows that he will have to continue his momentum in the league, where he already has 8 goals, as much as Harry Kane and just behind the Cyborg Erling Haaland.
Heavy is interested in Toney
Victim of a racist insult on Instagram in recent days (he was quickly defended and supported by his club, his fans and the Premier League), the 1.85m striker intends to respond in the best possible way on the field. That’s good, the Bees host Chelsea this Wednesday (8:30 p.m., 12th day) at the Gtech Community Stadium. The perfect opportunity for Ivan Toney to assert himself a little more in England, against the Blues who, like Manchester United, Newcastle, West Ham, Leeds or Everton, are following him with attention for the month of January next. ‘after Sky Sports. Brentford, aware that the one who remains under contract until June 2025 has taken the lead for two years, hopes to convince him to extend, with a salary increase at the key, according to the Mirrorits beautiful story in England, where it all really began.