One of the stars of Brentford’s impressive start to the season has refused to rule out a move elsewhere amid reported transfer interest from Arsenal.
Thomas Frank’s side sit seventh in the Premier League table after three wins and three draws from their first seven games. Indeed, wins at West Ham and at home to Arsenal, together with a draw with Liverpool, have shown they fear no-one. And their in-your-face style have won them an army of new admirers.
Most of the plaudits have been reserved for striker Ivan Toney, who has two goals in four appearances. Ably assisted by Bryan Mbeumo, who has three in eight, the Bees have taken to Premier League life with ease.
It’s not just in attack where the west Londoners are thriving. Their goalkeeper David Raya has also impressed between the sticks. His form has previously had Everton and Arsenal on his trail.
And his fine form so far has seen them pair once again linked with a move.
Arsenal are likely to lose Bernd Leno in January after he lost his place to Aaron Ramsdale.
Everton, meanwhile, have also been linked and could be in the market for a long-term No 2. Rafa Benitez brought in Asmir Begovic over the summer as a deputy for Jordan Pickford.
And Raya, while insisting he’s happy at the Brentford Community Stadium, is refusing to rule anything out over a future move.
“I’m happy at the club,” Raya told Cadena Ser.
“I want to have a good season this year. We’ll see what happens in the summer. My ambitions are great, I’d like to play at the top. You always want to play for big clubs.”
Raya has ambitions of representing Spain. But with Unai Simon, David De Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga all ahead of him, he knows he faces a tough task.
And he knows he may need to secure a high-profile move to win the attention of national coach Luis Enrique.
“For me it’d be a dream to represent Spain. I’ve dreamed of it since I was little. If that is the case, I’m delighted. I have to keep working and competing to please Luis Enrique. Then that’s the manager’s decision.”
Arsenal told to break bank for Toney
Arsenal, meanwhile, have been told to do all in their power to bring Bees striker Toney to Emirates Stadium.
With Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both poised to leave, thoughts are turning to the signing of a new striker. Indeed, the French striker now has just under nine months remaining of his contract at Arsenal and looks destined to leave.
Talks over an extension have so far failed to make a breakthrough. What’s more, a report in September indicated Lacazette has no desire to pen fresh terms anyway.
As such, the Gunners are being linked with Ollie Watkins and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who would both cost in excess of £50m.
Deals for either would cost in excess of £50m.
However, pundit Darren Bent insists there is a better options out there and he claims Bees striker Toney would be perfect.
“Could they lure him away from Brentford? Well, of course,” Bent said on talkSPORT, as cited by Football.London. “Yes (he would be a good fit for Arsenal). It’s early days.
“But what he has shown so far at Brentford, he is the real deal. That’s not just in terms of his goal return, just the way he is bullying people. He never shies away from a challenge.
“I think he is definitely destined for big things.”