This could be considered a bias, fan piece but please read it through and then watch Ivan Toney play. He is the real deal and also by turning 25 next year he still has time to improve & grow further.
Starting his career at his local club Northampton Town before sealing a move to Newcastle Utd, Ivan would have thought a top flight career beckoned following in the footsteps of Shearer, Ferdinand & Cole. Numerous loan moves in around the bottom 2 tiers of English football was his reality, the goals didn’t flow either. Watching him play now you can see that his experiences as a young man playing against defenders who take no prisoners has helped mould his style. Goal ratios differed but so many factors can affect a young mans development including the style of the hosts teams play, quality of team mates and personal reasons of the player themselves.
Barnsley goal every 10.5 games
Shrewsbury goal every 3.7 games
Scunthorpe (1st spell) goal every 2.4 games
Wigan goal every 4.6 games
Scunthorpe (2nd spell) goal every 2.25 games
With a steady goal ratio improvement the time came for Newcastle to either invest in some game time for their young striker or move him on with interest gathering from a few teams. The move to Peterborough was a no brainer, they have homed many strikers who have gone to greater success, it was Toney’s time to join their conveyer belt of number 9 talent. 94 games produced 49 goals at a rate of a goal every 1.9 games!
Before he joined Brentford I’d never seen Ivan play and was still living in a world where Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma could never be replaced, like a lot of fans I wasn’t enamoured with him after his interview on Sky regarding his next destination. He came across very arrogant, added with the sounds from Peterborough relating to his next club, I felt The Bees didn’t need his type at the club. I was wrong big time, he is Premier League quality and deserves to be there sooner rather than later.
Ivan is everything you want in a number 9, he is strong, imposes himself on the game letting any opposition player know he is around, technically proficient and of course knows where the goal is. The 2 characteristics that surprised me the most was his aggression and leadership. Whether I am watching a game on Sky or IFollow if their is a incident you know Ivan will be close by eventually, ending with a close up of him chirping away at players from the other team. He deals with the situations in a way that shows he is not to be messed with and leads to the reason why he is also such a good leader. He leads by example and you know he has everyone’s back, it was no surprise on Saturday he was made captain due to so many of the senior players being missing. Penalties are a sight to behold when Toney takes them, it exudes calmness.
Elements of his game remind me of Harry Kane as he is more than just a target up top, when he comes deep he is intelligent with his passing and a demon defending set pieces in his own box. It’s unfair to call him a target man he is a complete striker. You could even compare his early career to Kane’s as Harry didn’t set the world alight on many of his loan journeys but he was given a chance by Spurs. Their are a few men in front of him for a England striker spot but if their was a few injuries I wouldn’t grumble if he was given a chance, I have no doubt with some of our elite creative players like Sancho or Foden setting up Ivan that he would score a goal or 2.
Tuesday night is a chance for Ivan to show Newcastle Utd what they have missed out on, after selling him for £350k 2 years ago they would need to shell out well over 100 times that value for his talents now. Serious questions need to be asked about Newcastle’s player evaluation but that’s another article……
The big question though is whether Toney will play, he has only played 1 game in the Carabao Cup this season which was the 1st round and could be considered more of a glorified friendly before the season started. Since that point he has been rested for the cup games, but Tuesday is a chance for Brentford to get to a semi final, they may hold some players back but Ivan I am sure will want this game, he’ll want to score and celebrate against his old team. That’s why if you like a bet I would be inclined to wager £5 at 28/1 that he will score a hat trick.
It’s been a great season already for Ivan, its written that he will be the star of the evening, but his star is going to shine bright for a long time to come too.