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Transfer Talk: Arsenal could put Toney's Brentford loyalty to the test
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Adam Drury
Ivan Toney returns for Brentford this week
Ivan Toney returns for Brentford this week

Speculation surrounding Ivan Toney's future will ramp up this week as his eight-month ban for gambling offences comes to an end.

The 27-year-old striker has been training with Brentford for the last few months and will come back into contention to play against Nottingham Forest on Saturday after a glut of goals in B team matches.

But that is not the end of the discussion, with several clubs said to be keen to lure the forward away.

We assess his next steps.

Bees need a sting

Toney's chances of securing a January move might have been greater in November than they are now.

Thomas Frank's side made a solid start to the season, losing just three of their first 11 league matches but are now on a run of seven defeats in eight and sit three points above the relegation zone.

The Bees are an analytical club and might have been prepared to sanction a lucrative sale if they could be confident their chances of staying up were good enough without their talisman.

But with survival on the line, even a bid worth close to a nine-figure sum may not be worth accepting this month for a forward under contract until 2025.

Technical director Lee Dykes recently said: "There will be lots of interest in Ivan.

"But they will have to pay a decent transfer fee to acquire his services because he is some talent. We won't sell a player unless we are ready to sell."

Repay the faith

And Toney acknowledges that he must repay the faith shown in him by his employers during his eight-month hiatus.

The West Londoners have been publicly supportive of their striker throughout his case and suspension — and are now desperate for him to fire them out of trouble.

Toney said: "Brentford have been nothing but amazing for me. I can't thank them enough. 

"I have a lot to repay. Everybody at Brentford knows I will do my best to try and get the club out of the sticky patch we're in."

Guarantees goals

But Brentford's plight will not prevent other clubs from asking the question about last season's 21-goal forward.

Toney backed up 12 strikes in the 2021-22 campaign with 20 more in the league last term, an attractive proposition for the top sides in the country.

Arsenal's need for a new No9 is evident after their lack of goals over the festive period saw them fall behind in the title race.

Manchester United and Chelsea are also badly in need of reinforcements and a more consistent goal threat.

Ivan Toney was prolific for Brentford last season
Ivan Toney was prolific for Brentford last season

Gunner push for Arsenal

And it is the Gunners who appear most likely to be Toney's next destination, if his word is anything to go by.

The striker said on the Diary of a CEO podcast last August: "I have been a Liverpool fan my whole life but I like Arsenal.

"I like watching Arsenal and how they play and how passionate the fans are."

Toney's link play could suit attacking midfielders Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli, while he combines those skills with the eye for goal Gabriel Jesus arguably lacks.


Premier LeagueArsenalBrentfordIvan Toney
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