Transfer Talk: Five strikers to take the sting out of Bees' Toney ban
Brentford will be without star striker Ivan Toney until early next year after he was found guilty of breaching betting rules.
The England international was handed an eight-month ban by The FA last week and it is a significant blow for Thomas Frank's side.
This season the 27-year-old has scored 20 Premier League goals — a total only bettered by Erling Haaland and Harry Kane.
Ahead of the Bees' match against champions Manchester City on Sunday, with a place in the Europa Conference League still up for grabs on the final day, we run the rule over five players who could fill the Toney-shaped hole.
Nobody could have predicted Chuba Akpom lighting up the Championship in 2022-23 with Middlesbrough like he did.
The Arsenal academy graduate finished as the division's top scorer with 28 goals from 40 appearances, averaging a strike every 118 minutes.
His physicality, speed and lethal nature in the final third make the 27-year-old an ideal candidate for the Toney role.
And Brentford would not have to splash the cash either because the London-born marksman's contract at the Riverside expires in 2024.
The Championship's second-top scorer with 21 goals, Viktor Gyokeres has already been heavily linked with a move to Brentford this summer.
Like Akpom, the Coventry hotshot has all the offensive tools necessary to deputise for Toney during the course of the ban.
And one department where the Swede has the upper hand over the Boro star is creativity.
Gyokeres registered 11 assists in 2022-23, more than any other player with 10 or more goals in England's second tier.
The likes of Bryan Mbeumo and Yoanne Wissa would surely adore a partner with such quality link-up play.
No player aged 21 or under has scored more goals in Europe's top five leagues than Folarin Balogun at Reims this season.
The Arsenal loanee, 21, has netted 20 times in 35 Ligue 1 appearances but the Gunners still look likely to offload him in order to fund high-profile transfers in other areas.
That presents Brentford with an opportunity to acquire one of the continent's hottest properties without having to spend an extortionate amount of money.
The American starlet would also be able to replicate Toney's prolificacy from the spot, having scored six penalties for Les Rouge et Blanc.
French striker Moussa Dembele, 26, will be a free agent when his contract at Lyon expires at the end of the season.
This season has been tough for the ex-Celtic hitman. He has scored only three goals in 23 Ligue 1 appearances, but this campaign may just be an anomaly.
In 2021-22 the France youth international netted 21 times in 30 appearances for Les Gones, improving on his total of 16 from 27 matches in 2019-20.
He could be a risk worth taking for the Bees.
There are not many strikers in the Premier League who possess the same physical traits as Toney, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin is one of the few.
The 26-year-old ranks third among centre forwards in the division for aerial duels won per 90 minutes, with the Brentford goal machine way back in 13th.
What is more, the Everton ace's future at his club is in serious doubt, especially if Sean Dyche’s side are demoted to the Championship on the final day.
Of course, his injury record would be a concern for any top flight team. The 11-cap international has been restricted to just 18 appearances this season due to various issues.