With Xisco Munoz guiding Watford back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, Cristiano Giaretta now faces the challenge of bringing in additions to the Hornets’ squad, players who can help the club retain their top-flight status at the end season.
One position that appears to be in particular need of improvement is up top, as none of the club’s out and out centre-forwards have so far managed to break double figures for goals scored in the Championship – with Joao Pedro scoring nine, Troy Deeney bagging seven and Andre Gray netting four.
After joining Peterborough United from Newcastle United in what was a £351,000 deal back in the summer of 2018, Toney immediately proved worth the fee in his debut season at London Road, scoring 16 goals and providing seven assists over his 44 league appearances for the club, with Posh narrowly missing out on a place in the play-offs at the end of the season.
The centre-forward followed this campaign up with an even more remarkable season, bagging an astonishing 24 goals, providing five assists and creating eight big chances, as well as averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.64, over his 32 League One fixtures, with Peterborough once again being unfortunate to miss out on a play-off spot – this time on a point-per-game basis after the season was curtailed.
This form saw Toney secure a £5.04 million move to Brentford in September 2020 – when Watford were also reported to be interested in a move – and, despite a hefty price tag for a third-tier player, the 25-year-old has once again gone on to prove himself as a remarkable signing.
So far this season, the £21,000-per-week striker has somehow managed to improve further on his goalscoring record despite taking the step up in division, scoring 30 goals, providing 10 assists and creating nine big chances over his 44 Championship appearances, as well as averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.38.
As such, it almost goes without saying as to why Toney would make a fantastic signing for Watford this summer, as the forward has cleared every challenge he has faced so far in his professional career with ease – and we would not bet against him doing so once again in the Premier League.
And, despite Troy Deeney’s recent protestations that he does not want to be a bit-part player for the Hornets next season, the fact remains that the Watford talisman is getting older, as well as having suffered a number of long-term injuries in the last couple of years.
Furthermore, when looking at Deeney’s individual output in terms of goals and general creativity this season, there is simply no comparison to be done with Toney – as the Brentford man blows the 32-year-old out of the water in almost every metric.
So, with Watford back in the big time once again, it would seem highly advisable for Giaretta to spend whatever it takes to land Toney in the upcoming transfer window, as the man Barry Fry dubbed an “exceptional” goal scorer seems to very much have the potential to take over as Watford’s star striker this summer, while Deeney takes a backseat.