Celtic must be kicking themselves as they watch 24-year-old transfer target Ivan Toney lighting up the Championship this season. The striker attracted a lot of attention during his time with Peterborough and eventually went on to sign for Brentford for a reported £5million fee.
He hasn’t hesitated in rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck into life at his new club. In 11 appearances, Toney has netted an astonishing ten goals and one assist for the Bees. He is behind only Blackburn’s Adam Armstrong as the Championship’s highest scorers, already making his mark and showcasing his threat in front of goal (via BBC Sport).
Last season, Toney netted 24 goals in 32 League One appearances for his former club (via Transfermarkt).
These numbers will be everything Nick Hammond and co didn’t want to see. According to the Daily Record, Celtic tabled a £5million offer for Toney, but Peterborough knocked it back. Only to accept a similar offer from Brentford not long after. The Hoops should have pushed a little harder to make the officials at the Posh crumble – they would certainly be reaping the benefits from signing the Englishman if they had.
Neil Lennon’s attack is currently struggling with consistency. Other than Mohamed Elyounoussi, Celtic’s frontmen have been irregular in their performances. Odsonne Edouard has managed to net just once in the last nine games and has proven to be out of sorts since he returned from his self-isolation period.
Leigh Griffiths appears to have lost the faith of the manager, being subject to only appearances off the bench so far. Albian Ajeti has also been an inconsistent player and it’s left Lennon with a lot of thinking to do.
Unless his deal is made permanent, Elyounoussi will be leaving Parkhead at the end of the season. Similarly, Edouard’s time looks like it’s drawing near as well. More and more clubs are showing interest in him, including the likes of Arsenal. It’s more than likely that the Frenchman will succumb to the temptation of Premier League football, leaving Lennon with an extremely bare attacking roster.
Someone like Toney would have been the perfect signing. His eye for a goal is incredible and wouldn’t have cost the earth to bring to Celtic Park. At 24, he still has a lot of years left in him to develop as well. Hammond and Lennon will be furious they missed out on bringing him in.