According to reports, Leeds United are interested in signing Brentford striker Ivan Toney.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have been heavily reliant on Patrick Bamford to fire in the goals this season in the Premier League, and to the 27-year-old’s credit, he’s stepped up to the plate with 13 strikes in the competition.
Now, TEAMtalk claim that the Whites are one of three Premier League sides keen on signing Toney, with Brentford ready to put on a £30m price tag on him this summer.
The report adds that the Bees are hoping to hand the striker a new contract ahead of their own potential Premier League promotion, but they are already being faced with interest in their main man.
With his 6 foot 2 frame, Toney has got all the physical characteristics to become Leeds’ next Mark Viduka. But, just like the former Whites striker, he’s more than just a massive presence up top as he’s developed into a fine all-round striker.
Speaking earlier last year, Peterborough’s director of football, Barry Fry, said: “He’s turned into a tremendous all-round footballer. It’s important to remember Ivan is not just an exceptional goal-scoring forward, he’s also an outstanding defender.”
Toney himself has the confidence that he could be a top-flight striker, saying back in November: “I’ve always liked Zlatan. I just love his confidence. Some people see it as arrogance but you must be like that to succeed. 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.”
That unique blend of natural physical ability, technical quality, and just downright confidence is eerily similar to Viduka. In a piece for Leeds Live, Jon Howe wrote about the Australian: “Combining an arrogant superiority and sublime beauty with questionable attitude and a disgraced finale, Viduka’s Elland Road career succinctly mirrored the four year period where it felt Leeds United had it all but somehow ended up in the gutter.
“He was an ominous physical specimen, an old-fashioned centre forward in many respects, but mixed a formidable presence with a delicate technique that made him the purest example of a ‘good touch for a big fella’ player you are ever likely to see.”
The 25-goal Toney has got a lot of good things going for him in terms of a positive Viduka comparison, and that’s something Victor Orta should be all over in the summer.
Having proved himself in the Championship by leading the line with aplomb for Brentford this season, Toney seems exactly like the kind of all-round striker that would fit in perfectly with Bielsa. A goal-scorer, a defender from the front, and a real live-wire. What more could Leeds want?