Football Features

Tottenham transfer target: ‘Kane-like’ striker Ivan Toney could be one of this summer’s biggest bargains

By Will Evans

Published: 12:30, 29 May 2024 | Updated: 13:32, 12 June 2024

Ivan Toney could be the answer to Tottenham’s striker search.

The North Londoners are believed to be in the market for a centre-forward this summer, as Ange Postecoglou sets about revamping his squad for next season. There’s no doubting the likes of Son Heung-min and Richarlison performed admirably to try and fill the gap left by Harry Kane, but said gap, unfortunately, still remains.

Toney has emerged as an option for Spurs, amid reports that Brentford would accept an offer of £30-40m for his services.

Here, we consider whether Tottenham should make a move for the Bees’ talismanic frontman.

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Lacking form

Toney’s 2023/24 campaign only got started in January, following the completion of an eight-month ban for betting breaches. The 28-year-old rejoined a Brentford squad that had been sucked into a relegation battle, with the form of Thomas Frank’s men reflected in Toney’s performances last term.

He scored an unremarkable four league goals across 17 matches, while chipping in with two assists. However, that goal tally was below his xG of 5.97 and needs to be presented within the context of the Bees’ difficult campaign.

All of Toney’s four strikes came during a five-game hot streak in January and February — and Tottenham will hope he can recapture that form under Postecoglou’s tutelage.

Prolific past

A better barometer for Toney’s qualities may be Brentford’s more successful 2022/23 campaign.

The club surpassed expectations by finishing ninth that year, as their No.17 racked up a staggering 20 Premier League goals and four assists — averaging out at 0.73 goal contributions per 90 — finishing behind only Harry Kane (30) and Erling Haaland (36) in the Golden Boot race.

Notably, Toney was responsible for over 34% of his side’s total tally, as he ranked inside the division’s top 10 players for both shots (94) and shots on target (42).

But there is more to the former Peterborough United star’s game than just scoring goals. He is also adept at bringing his teammates into play and is a menace in the air, having won the sixth-most aerial duels in the league that season (109).

Even in the context of the battle to become Kane’s understudy at international level, Toney is seen as a more natural fit to the now-Bayern Munich striker than someone like Ollie Watkins.

“I think he’s more Harry Kane-like than Watkins,” former Spurs winger Andros Townsend told talkSPORT in March. “Nobody in the Premier League works harder than Ollie Watkins – chasing into the gullies, chasing a lost cause, making something out of nothing as well as getting his goals.

“But I just think Ivan Toney’s got that little bit of an advantage when it comes to getting hold of the ball, dropping 10 yards deeper and having people run beyond him. I think he’s particularly good at linking with those sorts of players. Again, I think he just gets the nod in that respect if that’s what Gareth wants, or is he going to go for something different, maybe?”

The price is right

Tottenham appear to be targeting a physical presence up front and Toney is a perfect fit in that regard. He would provide the outlet that Postecoglou’s team were often lacking when Richarlison was absent last term.

His price tag will undoubtedly appeal, too, following indications that Brentford will look for significantly less than their previously reported £80m demands.

With the 6ft 1in forward entering the final year of his contract, Spurs could grab themselves a bargain by bringing Toney to N17 this summer.