According to Express, Arsenal are among clubs monitoring Ivan Toney. The Brentford striker has impressed the onlookers with his performances in the Championship this season. As a result, the Gunners are tracking his progress in the second division, although they have expressed no interest in securing his services yet.
Ivan Toney’s Breakthrough At Brentford
In the summer, Ivan Toney joined Brentford in a £5 million move from Peterborough in League One. He was brought in to replace the outgoing Ollie Watkins, who had joined Aston Villa following an exceptional 2019/20 campaign.
It was a gutsy move by Thomas Frank despite Toney’s tremendous success in League One. And the move, it seems, has paid off for the Bees as the striker has now netted 16 goals in just 22 league appearances. His contributions in front of goal have fired Brentford into the promotion race again, with the club trailing second-placed Swansea by five points with two games in hand.
Toney has indeed impressed the onlookers with his goalscoring prowess. But, it is his ability to thrive in open play that has made him such an appealing target for Arsenal. In fact, the 24-year-old is one of the smartest attackers in the Championship, thanks to his positional sense and ability to make intelligent runs in between the centre-backs. It goes hand in hand with Frank’s tactical philosophy that requires a versatile forward.
Can Toney Be A Good Long-Term Option At Arsenal?
Arsenal are currently not in the market for a new striker this January due to poor financial conditions combined with the return of form of star striker Alexandre Lacazette. Yet, it won’t be surprising to see them undergo a potential overhaul in the summer and perhaps signing a new striker, in light of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s recent disappointments.
The Gabonese international has looked off-colour by some margin, having found the back of the net only thrice in 16 league matches. His poor form raises serious questions over Arsenal’s productivity, especially in the long-run. Also, Eddie Nketiah’s early progress at Emirates has been stifled in recent weeks due to lack of opportunities. He doesn’t appear to have a future at the club, and that is where Toney could come into the conclusion.
The Brentford forward could be an intriguing alternative to someone like Lacazette. Both are similar type of strikers, though Toney does unarguably provide pace and intelligence to the table. More importantly, the 24-year-old has shown better form in front of goal, albeit in the second division.
In the long-run, Toney could become an ideal partner for Aubameyang in the Arsenal attack. Both the players boast exceptional positional sense and complement each other, at least in terms of positioning. Hence, it will be interesting to see how the Brentford striker fares in the second half of the Championship campaign this season.