Ivan Toney last played for Scunthorpe three years ago but anyone who likes to keep an eye on ex-Iron players will be watching with interest as he lines up for Brentford FC in the Premier League in August.
— Ivan Toney (@ivantoney24) June 2, 2021
Thomas Frank’s men will be hoping that Toney’s eye for the goal can help them retain their place in the top flight. The Londoners are currently joint-favourites alongside Norwich and Watford to face the drop in the latest Premier League relegation odds. Fans will be hoping they can emulate the performance of Leeds United who recorded a ninth-place finish on their return to the top flight last season.
Toney last found the net for Scunthorpe away to Milton Keynes in April 2018, and proved a popular figure during his two loan spells at Glanford Park. The club was keen to sign him up for a third term but he opted for a move to Peterborough instead.
— Peterborough United (@theposhofficial) August 9, 2018
It proved a shrewd decision for the up-and-coming player as he scored 49 goals in 76 games for the Posh, was voted Player of the Season at the EFL Awards, and then bagged a big-money move to Brentford.
The 25-year-old previously made two Premier League appearances for Newcastle in the 2015/16 campaign, coming on as a late substitute in draws against Manchester United (3-3) and Chelsea (2-2). A lack of first-time opportunities prompted a string of loan moves before he made the permanent switch to London Road in August 2018. Toney’s form ever since has caused plenty to wonder why Newcastle ever sold the striker, who was clearly progressing well out on loan.
The biggest beneficiaries of Newcastle’s folly were Brentford: they wasted no time in recruiting Toney as a ready-made replacement for Ollie Watkins, who departed for Aston Villa in September 2020 for a £28 million fee. In his first season, Toney exceeded Watkins’ best-ever goal tally for Brentford (26 in 50 in the 2019/20 campaign), netting 33 times in 52 appearances. Watkins went on to net 16 goals in all competitions for Villa last season including 14 in the league as Dean Smith’s men finished 11th. A similar haul for Toney would give Brentford a fighting chance of survival.
A Fresh Start for the Bees
Brentford has waited 47 years to return to the top flight and will therefore be keen to make the most of their opportunity. They’ll also have the pleasure of playing in their brand new 17,250-capacity Brentford Community Stadium, which opened back in September 2020. Scunthorpe have faced Brentford 39 times in the past, winning 11, drawing 12, and losing 16. Their last meeting came at Griffin Park back in March 2013, when Tom Adeyemi bagged the only goal of the game for the hosts.
Toney follows in the footsteps of previous Iron strikers Billy Sharp, Martin Paterson, and Gary Hooper, who all went on to feature in the Premier League after leaving Glanford Park. While it will be bittersweet watching past players move on to the greater things, most fans of the Iron will be wishing him well on his return to the Premier League.