Ivan Toney has been warned what he will need to be wary of if he leaves Brentford for a bigger club like Arsenal by Rio Ferdinand.
Toney is leaving the door open to a big move in the summer, when he will enter the final year of his contract with Brentford. Arsenal have put him on their shortlist of striker targets as they look for a more reliable goalscorer.
But Toney may have to tone things down if he is to fit into an elite group of players like Arsenal’s squad, according to Ferdinand, having never previously played with that calibre of teammates.
Speaking on Five, Ferdinand said: “He said it in jest! I don’t think he would move like that [with a big ego]. I would be surprised.
“Remember, he has never played for a big club. He’s going to go there and he will have to be respectful and know where he is in the pecking order.
“There are some big players in there. Do you think he is going to come with that chat about Mikel Arteta when you have Declan Rice, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus?”
And in response to a claim that Toney “thinks no one can chat to him”, Ferdinand replied: “Then he won’t last long then.
“I don’t think that is him, but if he goes into the dressing room, a strong dressing room like Arsenal, and thinks, ‘No one can chat to me’ – that’s where the dressing room will be tested.
“The manager wouldn’t have to say anything. He would be opened up.”
Can Toney step up to top level?
Last season, Brentford finished ninth in the Premier League, the highest placing Toney has ever been a part of in his top-flight career.
In contrast, Arsenal came second behind Manchester City, despite leading the way for most of the season, and have been in the Champions League this campaign.
Clearly, joining them would be a step up and Toney would no longer be a big fish in a small pond, like he arguably has been at Brentford.
Since joining Brentford from Peterborough in 2020, Toney has scored 71 goals from 128 appearances.
He helped them win promotion to the Premier League before consolidating both his and their statuses there, as well as earning England recognition.
Since recently returning from a ban, Toney has scored three goals from four appearances.
Last season, to give a fairer reflection of his ability over a larger sample, he scored 21 goals from 35 games. With all but one of his goals coming in the Premier League, he was the top-flight’s third leading scorer behind Erling Haaland and Harry Kane.