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Toney’s Return: What Brentford Should Expect?

Ivan Toney’s Return to Brentford: A Deep Dive into His Impact and Future

Brentford’s Striker Back in Action

Ivan Toney, Brentford’s talisman, has recently made headlines with his imminent return to football following an eight-month absence. On The Athletic Football Podcast hosted by Ayo Akinwolere, the Athletics Brentford writer Jay Harris and senior football writer Oli Kay delved into the significance of Toney’s comeback.

Toney’s Career Stall and Brentford’s Challenges

Jay Harris vividly outlines the impact of Toney’s absence, noting, “he scored 20 goals in the Premier League last season, only [Erling] Haaland and Harry Kane got more.” His ban, as Harris states, “completely stalled his career.” This period was especially trying for Brentford, who lost five league games in a row and got knocked out of the FA Cup. Harris observes that Brentford initially coped without Toney, but their recent struggles have highlighted his importance.

The Psychological Impact of the Ban

Oli Kay points out the probable psychological effect of the ban on Toney, suggesting “there’ll be a lot of anger the way he’s been treated.” Kay notes the possibility of Toney being “fully driven” upon his return, emphasizing the need to channel this drive appropriately.

Preparing for a Strong Comeback

Harris discusses Toney’s preparation during the ban, including time spent in Nashville working on his finishing. His participation in behind-closed-doors friendlies and his scoring streak in these matches indicate his readiness to return. Harris confidently states, “I very much feel like he’ll start on Saturday.”

Photo: IMAGO

Brentford’s Dependence on Toney

The discussion shifts to Brentford’s heavy reliance on Toney. Jay Harris touches upon the club’s struggle in his absence, suggesting that his return is crucial for lifting the team away from relegation troubles.

Tony’s Future and Brentford’s Model

Regarding Toney’s future, Harris and Kay speculate on potential transfer destinations. Harris mentions, “I always felt like if Sir Alex Ferguson was still in charge of Man United, he would have signed Tony in a heartbeat.” Kay adds, “Arsenal seems to be the one that everybody talks about.”

The podcast also discusses the effectiveness of Brentford’s model of identifying and nurturing talent like Toney. Harris praises Brentford for having “recovered from selling players of a similar quality to Ivan Tony before.”

As Toney gears up for his return, his impact on Brentford’s season and his future career trajectory remain focal points of discussion. His journey from a gambling ban to a highly anticipated return has been a roller coaster, not just for him but for Brentford as a whole. With his comeback, Brentford hopes to reclaim its earlier form and stave off relegation challenges.

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