‘Very confident’ Ivan Toney compared to top-four striker after first England call-up

Brentford striker Ivan Toney

A former England striker has put Ivan Toney alongside Harry Kane in a particular area and also given his opinion on the Brentford man making the latest England squad.

Toney found the net 33 times in 52 matches two seasons ago as Brentford gained promotion to the Premier League for the first time. Some fans and pundits were wondering how Toney would do in the top flight, against higher quality defenders.

The striker answered his critics by bagging 12 league goals last season, with two more coming in cup competitions.

Toney did have some dry spells throughout the campaign, but these were offset by periods of real threat. For example, he bagged a hat-trick against Norwich in March before notching a brace in the following game against Burnley.

The 26-year-old has been even more deadly in the attacking third this season. Five league goals have come his way in just six outings.

Plus, Toney is helping his team-mates to find the net as well. He registered two assists during Brentford’s shock 4-0 rout over Manchester United in August.

The Northampton-born ace has been rewarded for his fine form with a place in the most recent England squad.

Southgate named his 28-man squad on Thursday and Toney made the cut. He will compete with the likes of Harry Kane and Tammy Abraham for a spot up front in the upcoming games against Italy and Germany.

Heskey praises ‘very confident’ Ivan Toney

Emile Heskey, who played 62 times for England between 1999 and 2010, has now given his verdict on Toney.

He has compared the striker to Tottenham talisman Kane due to the way he drops in deep and helps spread the play.

“He’s a very, very confident lad, you can see that when he plays,” Heskey said during an appearance on talkSPORT.

“(He’s) similar – we were speaking about the two with one of the lads who is a Brentford fan – to the way Kane plays, the way he drops in and links up and then drives and gets into the box as well.”

Toney is versatile thanks to his ability to drop deep and collect the ball or go on the shoulder of the last defender.

Christian Eriksen’s arrival at Brentford in January benefitted Toney. It meant he could remain in attacking areas at all times, because Eriksen operated just behind.

Of course, Eriksen left the Bees in the summer as his contract expired, and he went on to link up with Man Utd. His departure could have had a negative impact on Toney, but the forward has instead taken his game to the next level.

Toney now facing Kane, Abraham battle

He fully deserves his England call-up. However, it will be incredibly tough to get much game time for the Three Lions.

Kane has hit the same amount of goals as him in the Prem, and in the same amount of matches as well. He remains Southgate’s first-choice striker.

And Roma’s Abraham will probably be second in the pecking order. Jose Mourinho has got the best out of the former Chelsea player since they began working together at the Stadio Olimpico.

Despite these factors, Ivan Toney will feel confident about at least getting one substitute appearance during the international break.

Meanwhile, Antonio Conte feels that Yves Bissouma will finally be ready to make his mark at Tottenham after the upcoming international break.