Barry Fry has handed West Ham a warning in their pursuit of Brentford striker Ivan Toney…
Peterborough’s director of football Barry Fry has suggested that it could take as much as £50m for West Ham to sign Ivan Toney from Brentford this summer. The Hammers are reportedly interested in signing the English striker and Fry has warned them that the newly-promoted side will not let him go easily.
“I’m not too sure the two Davids would fork out £40 or £50 million that I think would [convince] Brentford.
“Brentford did marvellous work, miracles to sell their best players and still get in the play-offs for two years on the trot and get where the promised land is, so they’re not going to let any of their players go cheaply.”
West Ham must avoid making a grave error with Toney if his price tag is as high as £50m. Whilst it is understandable why the club are looking at him as a target, with 33 goals last season for Brentford in the Championship, £50m is too much of a gamble for a player who has never played regularly in the top-flight – with two appearances in the Premier League for Newcastle his only exposure to elite-level football.
There is no guarantee that he will make the step up to the Premier League and score buckets full of goals and provide assists for his teammates at the same rate he did in the second tier. Toney scored 33 times and assisted 10 goals in 48 appearances, including the playoffs, which is an outstanding record and shows that he has the potential to make the grade.
The attacker has the quality and the Peterborough chief, Fry, who helped facilitate Toney’s move to Brentford, was effusive with his praise of the striker whilst he was in East Anglia. He lauded the “tremendous” forward for his overall game, highlighting his defending along with his goalscoring.
“He’s kept working hard and playing with total commitment and he’s turned into a tremendous all-around footballer.
“It’s important to remember Ivan is not just an exceptional goal-scoring forward, he’s also an outstanding defender.
“We’ve sold some top-class strikers in our past, but none have been able to defend anywhere near as well as Ivan.”
However, performances in the Championship do not always translate into the Premier League. For example, Teemu Pukki managed 29 goals and nine assists in 43 appearances for Norwich in the 2018/19 campaign – putting him on a similar level to Toney – and yet, he only managed 11 strikes as the Canaries were relegated the following season at a higher level.
It is also worth pointing out that 11 of Toney’s goals came from the penalty spot. The 25-year-old powerhouse is unlikely to get as many attempts to score from 12 yards for the Hammers, as Moyes’ team scored just twice from penalties last season.
This is why it would be a massive gamble by West Ham to splash out a club-record £50m on the centre-forward. There is too much doubt, as it stands, over his ability to be an elite player at the top level.