Brentford striker Ivan Toney has been one of the most prolific scorers in the Premier League this season despite being banned for eight months for betting offenses. The 27-year-old has netted 20 goals in 33 appearances for the Bees, who are ninth in the table and have impressed in their first season in the top flight.
Toney joined Brentford from Peterborough in August 2020 for an initial fee of £5m, which could rise to £10m with add-ons. He scored 31 goals in 45 games in his debut season for the club, breaking the Championship record and helping the club win promotion via the play-offs.
He made his England debut in March 2023, coming on as a substitute in a 2-0 win over Ukraine in a Euro 2024 qualifier. He was widely tipped to be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the tournament, but his hopes were dashed when he was found guilty of 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules in May.
Toney admitted to placing bets on football matches between February 2017 and January 2021, when he played for Scunthorpe United, Wigan Athletic, Peterborough United, and Brentford. He was fined £50,000 and suspended from all football activities until 17 January 2024. However, he was allowed to return to training with Brentford four months before his ban ended on 17 September.
Toney has expressed his disappointment at the verdict but also his gratitude for the support he has received from his family, friends, Brentford, and their fans. He has vowed to come back stronger and continue his goalscoring form next season.
Toney has also attracted interest from several bigger clubs, including Arsenal FC, Chelsea, and Tottenham, who are reportedly monitoring his situation. However, Brentford are reluctant to sell their star striker, who still has three years left on his contract, and has set a £60m price tag on him. Chelsea is in a serious hunt to sign a striker, and Toney can be one for them as he proved his worth in the Premier League for the last three years as he scored 68 goals for Brentford in 128 matches.