Another goal, but also it seems another step towards the exit door for Brentford star Ivan Toney. The striker was on target again as the Bees bounced back from consecutive Premier League defeats to win 2-0 at Wolves, a result that gives them breathing space in their battle to avoid relegation.
The 27-year-old has been under huge scrutiny since retuning to action in January after serving an eight-month ban for breaching FA betting regulations. Ahead of his comeback, he was consistently linked to Arsenal and Chelsea, but the two sides were seemingly put off by the three-figure valuation imposed by their London rivals.
With less than 18 months left on the contract of the one-cap England international, manager Thomas Frank knows the club will have to consider a sale this summer or risk losing Toney for free in 2025. And the comments of the Danish boss this week raised eyebrows, with him publicly conceding Toney’s future was up in the air.
“I would love him to stay forever, but the reality is he has one year left on his contract in the summer,” he said. “I think he’s been pretty open about maybe playing for a top club in the future, so I think there are a couple of scenarios; he leaves in the summer, leaves in the winter, or he stays.”
The comments were put to Toney in the aftermath of his goalscoring display, and his response was equally telling. “I see that as he doesn’t want me,” he said, before offering a nervous laugh.
“Nah, the manager has said what he’s said but listen, I can’t make clubs come and get me. I’ve just got to keep doing and I do and that’s score goals. Like I said, what will be will be.”
Developments would inevitably have been noted in both north and west London, with Arsenal and Chelsea both in desperate need of firepower. Mikel Arteta’s summer spending spree left the club short of funds in January, with the widespread perception remaining that the Gunners lack a prolific striker in order to remain in the title race.
Chelsea meanwhile, have been hampered by FFP regulations. Mauricio Pochettino needs to offload players to fund any more incomings, but will have noted Toney’s seamless return as he bids to solve his own forward problems.