Replacing Ollie Watkins at Brentford was no easy job, but it seems like Ivan Toney is doing it with some gusto so far…
Ivan Toney had to deal with a number of different pressures after Brentford paid Peterborough £10million for his services in the summer.
There was the basics of the price tag, of course. There must also be a pressure that comes with signing for Brentford anyway: that they are so good at picking talent, if a player doesn’t succeed there it’s quite easy to think it must be the player’s fault rather than the club’s.
And then of course there’s the pressure of succeeding Ollie Watkins.
After an iffy first couple of games, Toney has – to employ considerable understatement – found form recently, helping himself to seven goals in the last four games, include a brace in each of the last three.
That was one of the main topics of conversation on The Totally Football League Show: Extra-Time this week.
“There was obviously some concern that Toney either might take a while to get going,” said Ali Maxwell on the podcast, “or simply not be Ollie Watkins and have the same output. That has been put to bed completely by this run of form.
“We should say that playing up front for Brentford is a pretty sweet gig for any striker. If you look at Brentford’s seasons over the last decade, they always have a striker who scores a lot of goals. Partly it’s down to their style of play and the amount of chances they create, but of course they do plenty of due diligence in recruitment and they’re always confident that when they lose a player, the one that comes in will fit the bill.
“Toney bulled the Sheffield Wednesday backline [in the 2-1 win over them on Wednesday]. He’s got the most English league goals in 2020 – 17, which is one more than Mo Salah and two more than Adam Armstrong.
“There will always be comparisons to Watkins, but they are not the same player. And that’s almost what excites me most about Toney – Watkins developed over two years, from a wide forward to a complete forward, whereas Toney probably arrives as closer to being a complete forward.
“He clearly has the goalscorer’s instinct that Watkins developed over time but didn’t have initially. It’s really exciting for Brentford.”
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