With his first Premier League campaign nearing its conclusion, Brentford striker Ivan Toney has proven to the array of clubs that have previously shown interest in the forward what they’ve missed out on.
One of those clubs is West Ham United, who were confirmed to be a potential suitor for the English striker by Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony on the Hard Truth Podcast before he eventually signed for the Bees.
The 25-year-old scored 24 goals in 32 appearances in the 2019/20 League One season for the Posh before his move to West London, leading Brentford to their first-ever Premier League season the following campaign with 33 goals in 48 appearances.
It was Toney’s efforts in the third-tier that attracted so much interest from numerous clubs before Thomas Frank’s side paid an initial £5m with the fee rising to £10m with add-ons to replace Ollie Watkins who had joined Aston Villa.
Now, after almost a season in the top-flight, in which the striker has netted nine goals in 23 appearances following his first Premier League hat-trick against Norwich City on Saturday, Toney is showing West Ham what they could’ve had.
It’s no secret that the Hammers have been in need of a striker for numerous transfer windows now, having missed out on a centre-forward once again in January.
31-year-old Michail Antonio is currently the club’s only senior striker, meaning that without the Jamaica international, manager David Moyes has to fit square pegs into round holes as the solution.
Moreover, the forward hasn’t scored in the league since New Year’s Day, further highlighting how big a blow missing out on Ivan Toney really turned out to be for the East London club.
Currently valued at £28.8m by Transfermarkt, Toney is worth almost six times the initial fee Brentford paid Peterborough in 2020 and, should the Bees secure top-flight survival, the 25-year-old’s value will surely excel.
When the West London outfit signed the Englishman, it seemed as though they were heavily overpaying for Toney’s services with the striker valued at just £360,000. However, that soon increased heavily to £4.05m in October 2020, although still under the transfer fee.
As Brentford’s talisman kept finding the back of the net, his value kept soaring, with Toney worth £16.2m by March 2021 just before Frank’s side secured a playoff spot.
Following promotion, the striker’s value sharply increased once again to £25.2m before rising slightly to the current figure of £28.8m in October after bagging 44 goals for the Bees.
Labelled as “exceptional” by Barry Fry when he was in the lower leagues, there is no doubt that the 25-year-old belongs in the English top-flight and could well be onto even better fortunes beyond Brentford.
With their striker issues and a majorly important final set of fixtures to contest, there is no doubt that West Ham will be kicking themselves on what is clearly a prized asset.