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Ivan Toney will likely leave Brentford this summer, Thomas Frank concedes

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank says it is “relatively obvious” that Ivan Toney will leave the club in the summer.

Frank added that Brentford did not receive any offers for Toney during the January transfer window, despite the 27-year-old returning to action after serving his ban for betting offences.

Frank had said at the start of January that Toney would not be sold during this season, amid transfer interest from fellow Premier League sides Arsenal and Chelsea.

But, when the summer window opens, Toney will have only a season left on his Brentford contract, having not signed fresh terms with the club since agreeing a five-year deal when he joined from Peterborough United in the Championship in 2020.

“It is relatively obvious that Ivan Toney will probably be sold this summer,” Frank said to Danish media, via Tipsbladet.

“We also know what he is worth. I don’t think there are many strikers in the world who are better than him right now.

“He is a really skilled striker who is in his prime football age. Personally, as a coach, I would prefer to keep Toney but one day it could be fun to see him on a top team.

“This winter we actually had no offers for him, but it will surprise me if there aren’t a lot of clubs that will be interested in him.”

Toney has scored twice in three matches since returning from his eight-month ban. He has registered 70 goals in 127 games for Brentford in all competitions, including 20 in 33 Premier League appearances last season.

Is Toney ready to make a step up from Brentford?

Analysis by Jay Harris, Brentford correspondent

There were a lot of question marks surrounding Toney ahead of his return in January from an eight-month ban for breaching the Football Association’s rules around betting.

Toney scored 20 times in 33 appearances last season which led to him earning an England cap. After so long on the sidelines, would he be able to rediscover that form?

Toney’s clever free-kick against Nottingham Forest showed he still possesses star power and he followed it up with another goal in the 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. He was not credited with an assist for Neal Maupay’s strike in Monday’s loss to Manchester City, but he played an integral role by blocking Nathan Ake in the build-up.

Toney has injected a huge amount of belief into Brentford at a time when they have lost nine of their last eleven league matches. He is a fantastic finisher and great link-up player with an impressive record from penalties too. He is more than capable of and ready to play for a team fighting for trophies.

Are Brentford prepared for Toney to leave?

Analysis by Jay Harris, Brentford correspondent

Brentford’s technical director Lee Dykes told The Athletic last summer that “you can’t replace Ivan”.

“He is very Zlatan Ibrahimovic-esque in terms of the impact he has. He’s got an aura around him and quickly became a leader in our group,” Dykes added.

So the club’s focus over the last few transfer windows has been on recruiting forwards who are comfortable operating in multiple roles to offer them tactical flexibility and unpredictability. The ideal long-term scenario for Frank would be Bryan Mbeumo, Yoane Wissa, Keane Lewis-Potter and Kevin Schade competing with each other for the leading roles in a 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 formation.

Mbeumo, Lewis-Potter and Schade have all been injured at different stages this season which means it has been difficult for Frank to test them out together. An ambitious deal for highly-rated Norway international Antonio Nusa would have provided them with another exciting option but it collapsed. Mbeumo had directly contributed to 11 goals in 15 appearances before suffering an ankle injury though, so is the most likely candidate to take over Toney’s role as their main talisman.

(Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

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