HomeFootball NewsHow will Brentford deal with the absence of Ivan Toney this season?

How will Brentford deal with the absence of Ivan Toney this season?

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In May, Brentford striker Ivan Toney was banned for eight months for breaching FA betting rules. With the ban lasting until January 2024, the Bees will have to find a way to replace the forward for the first half of the season.

Toney scored 20 Premier League goals last campaign, so how will Brentford go about attempting to fill his void in their side?

Last season Brentford manager Thomas Frank primarily used two systems, which were 3-5-2 and 4-3-3. When they played Toney up front in a two, he was usually partnered with Bryan Mbeumo. The two have played over 100 matches together and have formed a strong partnership.

But now Toney is out until next year, Mbeumo will have to step up with more goals. However, last season did see the Cameroon international score nine league goals, which was a decent return for a player not known for consistent goal-scoring. This season there will be greater pressure for him to be scoring more goals to cover Toney’s absence.

In terms of an out-and-out number nine, Brentford only have Halil Dervisoglu as backup to Toney. The Turkish international spent last season on loan with Vincent Kompany at Burnley, not even making a single start in the Championship. It looks like Brentford do not want to hold onto the 23-year-old, as an agreement with Besiktas has been reached to sell the forward.

Brentford did make the loanee from last Kevin Schade a permanent signing this summer from Freiburg, but the German under-21 international plays out wide, rather than down the middle. His lack of goal-scoring is also notable, with zero goals scored in his 18 Premier League appearances.

This highlights how in need Brentford are for a new striker, even when Toney returns to add to their squad depth.

There have been strikers linked with a move to the West London club. The main target is Brennan Johnson from Nottingham Forest, with a £30m bid already rejected. In his first Premier League season, Johnson was able to score eight goals after featuring in all 38 matches. The Nottingham-born attacker would be a fantastic signing, as he can play across the front line, showcasing the versatility he possesses.

Brentford are also ready to smash their record transfer fee with an offer of £50m being prepared. It is a signing that makes sense, as Johnson would be a good option to link up with Mbeumo in a front two and would be perfectly suited to play out wide once Toney returns.

Despite being short on strikers right now, Brentford have options to explore. It seems likely that Brentford will go into the transfer market to fill the hole. If the likes of Johnson can be brought into the team, it would be a great start to building the attack needed to replace Toney temporarily and support him when he returns.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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