At the start of the season, having lost Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins, Brentford struggled to find the form that took them to Wembley last season. Understandably so, too, when considering the impact the two had on Thomas Frank’s side. But, just when it looked as though it could be a season to forget, Ivan Toney stepped up.
Replacing the goals of Watkins was always going to be a hard task. The Englishman scored a total of 25 league goals in 46 appearances last season. Take away his goals, plus the 17 of Said Benhrahma’s, and it looked a Brentford side which lacked the influence needed to gain promotion.
Yet, here Ivan Toney is; the man who has not only replaced Watkins but also produced better numbers than the Englishman. At this stage of the season, Toney has scored 20 league goals in 26 appearances. In 46 appearances last season, Watkins managed 26 goals.
The fact is, Toney, having arrived for a mere £10 million with all the expectations placed upon him, is on course to out-perform his predecessor.
Ivan Toney: Firing Brentford Towards Promotion
Proving Doubters Wrong
Having tried, but, ultimately, failed to make the cut in the Premier League with Newcastle United, Toney will be desperate for a second chance. And like Watkins did last season, he is proving his Premier League quality at Brentford.
Watkins secured his move and has since succeeded- scoring nine goals in the top flight with Aston Villa. Toney, however, may take a different route into the so-called promised land, and, in the process, do what both Watkins and Benrahma failed to do in a Brentford shirt by taking the Bees to promotion.
His stats, coinciding with Brentford’s staggering 20 game unbeaten run in the Championship, suggests that it won’t be too long until Thomas Frank’s side are finally in the Premier League.
Watkins and Benhrahma failed at the final hurdle; Toney is leaping hurdle over hurdle with ease to do what those before him could not.
Neck and Neck with Swansea City, Thomas Frank will hope last season’s failure will provide the hunger needed to succeed just one season later.
The worry will be that, if Brentford fall at the final hurdle once more, the likes of Toney will follow in the footsteps of Benrahma and Watkins by taking a more direct route into the Premier League.
Brentford’s Football Deserves to Be Seen in Top Flight
On far too many occasions over the years, we have seen sides gain promotion to the Premier League, place 11 men behind the ball and hope for the best. Leeds United have been a refreshing addition of entertainment to the Premier League.
Bielsa-ball has been criticised for how wrong it can go, but, when it goes right, Leeds are one of the best sides to watch in the Premier League. They are following the likes of Bournemouth, who similarly didn’t just gain promotion to survive but to, instead, progress.
Eventually, poor recruitment saw them finally drop back down to the Championship, but the years they had in the top flight saw them produce some of the biggest shocks and most entertaining games.
Leeds have since replicated that entertainment factor whilst West Bromwich Albion’s approach has seen them slip into the bottom three.
Brentford, who are battling Bournemouth for promotion, would bring the entertainment factor; big performances, and shock defeats to the Premier League in a team led by Ivan Toney.
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