Three reasons Ivan Toney could be a wildcard striker option for Erik Ten Hag
When Erik ten Hag takes up the Manchester United job, he will have a huge task on his hands to reshape the squad. If recent history has taught us one thing, it’s that star signings are not the answer.
So don’t be surprised if smart-thinker Ten Hag has a few leftfield transfer plans who cause some surprises.
One player who could tick a few boxes is in-form Brentford striker Ivan Toney. Hear us out.
Here is a look at three reasons why Toney could be a shrewd addition for Ten Hag’s Red Devils…
Ability to lead the line on his own
Toney would fit the bill for the style of striker who suits a Ten Hag system, with the Ajax manager building his team around Sebastien Haller leading the line.
This season Toney has shown he can play as a lone forward in the Premier League, performing strongly for newly promoted Brentford.
United could align two wingers around him, Jadon Sancho and or Antony, for instance, and look to Toney to be a target man and penalty box predator.
This season Toney has won a highly impressive 4.4 aerial duels per game, making him a threat from set pieces which would add a weapon United have largely lacked this season, and giving the team a vital plan B in attack.
Toney also has a 54 per cent shots on target accuracy rate this season, equal to Harry Kane, with a superior conversion rate: 24 per cent to 16 per cent.
Toney has 12 Premier League goals from 50 attempts, with Kane scoring 12 from 76 attempts.
Rising talent yet to peak
Toney may be 26, but his best years are still ahead of him. This is his first season in the Premier League, with an unfancied yet well organised side, and he has scored 12 goals.
Prior to Cristiano Ronaldo’s weekend hat-trick, this was equal to the Manchester United forward. Put Toney in the United side and he could flourish.
Last season Toney struck 33 goals in all competitions for Brentford to help them win promotion, showing a knack for finding the back of the net.
He would relish the opportunity of playing on a bigger stage, and this could be a signing which fits alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
United could sign Toney without minimising Cristiano Ronaldo’s status at the club presuming he stays, whereas a Darwin Nunez would be expecting to be the clear first choice striker.
Fee would leave money for further signings
One of the advantages in signing Ivan Toney would be that this transfer would not be a budget-buster for Manchester United and take up the entire funds.
With numerous positions requiring strengthening, United need to see to as many as possible. At least two midfielders are needed with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic leaving.
An extra winger may be needed, quite possibly a full-back and a centre-back, and don’t rule out Ten Hag bringing in his own goalkeeper either.
Darwin Nunez would be a terrific signing up front, but he would cost around £70 million, a huge budget, while Toney could be signed for less than half the price.
It is something for Ten Hag to weigh up as he plots his Manchester United rebuild to try and take the Red Devils back to the top, one step at a time.
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