Carlo Ancelotti can redefine Everton’s attack by signing Brentford’s “hungry” marksman Ivan Toney, who compares himself with Swedish icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
According to Calciomercato, Toney has emerged as a potential option for Everton to target following his stellar form this season as their Director of Football Marcel Brands considers bolstering Ancelotti’s strike force.
Toney joined Championship side Brentford from Peterborough in the summer on a five-year contract, in a £5million deal that could reach a maximum fee of £10m through add-ons.
Posh had slapped a £13m asking price on the forward last winter amid interest from Burnley and AFC Bournemouth, feeling the former Newcastle United man was the best young striker outside of the Premier League with Middlesbrough, Cardiff, Bristol City and Derby County also keen.
Toney ultimately joined Brentford for less than half what Peterborough had hoped for, despite netting 26 goals and penning seven assists across all competitions last term, and has already started to hit home in the Championship with a hand in 15 goals (13 scored, two assisted) and counting this season.
Bees boss Thomas Frank was full of praise for Toney when he unveiled the 24-year-old at the Brentford Community Stadium this summer, claiming: “We are adding a hungry, ambitious, hard-working striker to the group here.
“He fits what I want in a striker; he is a goalscorer, he gets into good positions in the box, he is good playing on the last line, and will contribute to our link-up play. Our strikers are a big part of our pressing game, and Ivan, with his work ethic, will help us with that.”
Ancelotti would have the chance to redefine Everton if Brands were to target Toney in an upcoming window, as the Toffees have become vastly reliant on wide players to carry the Goodison Park outfit in recent months.
The Blues’ reliance on wide players was evident most while without Richarlison following the Brazilian’s red card in the Merseyside Derby, with Everton creating just two on-target shots at Southampton, four on-target efforts at Newcastle and just one on-target strike at home to Manchester United in three straight defeats.
Richarlison’s return for last month’s trip to Fulham instantly saw a change of fortunes as Everton directed seven of their nine shots on target, with the others blocked, while the Brazilian provided one key ball and accounted for three of his side’s efforts, per WhoScored.
Toney’s ability to harry opposition defences would also allow Ancelotti to free Dominic Calvert-Lewin and open spaces for James Rodriguez to occupy, and have little fear the Newcastle flop – who left St. James’ Park after four goalless appearances – will struggle.
The Bees star is confident to the edge of arrogance, claiming his self-belief is to the same degree as Sweden icon Ibrahimovic, whom he sees similarities with on the field.
“I’ve always liked Zlatan. I just love his confidence. Some people see it as arrogance, but you must be like that to succeed,” he told The Sun.
“I’m similar to Zlatan in both my confidence and the way I play. When he wants to do something, he just does it. I have some of that in my game and personality. And I believe I’ll be a Premier League striker.”