Who are Tottenham Hotspur signing this summer?
With Ange Postecoglou having recruited well this summer, it was thought that lots of his hard work would crumble with the recent exit of the England captain.
However, it seems to have almost galvanised the Lilywhites, posting two fine performances and earning four points from their opening two Premier League games.
Despite that, a glaring vacancy does remain.
For all the stars they have been linked with this summer, transfer insider Dean Jones has now offered an out-the-box suggestion in Brentford‘s banned forward Ivan Toney, who could mark an underrated investment.
“Toney is a deal that they have started to explore, but that will come down to how realistic Brentford are in terms of what his value is. It seems they might price him out of a move like this.
“So, there’s no particular optimism at this stage for Tottenham making much headway with that. If they were to look for another forward, they’ve been linked with Romelu Lukaku, but I’m very sceptical about that. I don’t think that’s something that is going to happen.”
How good is Ivan Toney?
Before his exile from English football, it is fair to say that the 27-year-old was one of the most in-form forwards in the entire division.
He could score, assist, hold the ball up and stretch defences, with his all-around play style unsurprisingly drawing parallels with Kane. In fact, this was a sentiment voiced by Jermaine Pennant, who claimed:
“He is England’s number two. He’s similar to Harry Kane himself. If Kane was to leave in the summer, then I think a perfect fit would be Ivan Toney, without a shadow of a doubt.”
Such praise is not only just down to his goalscoring, although his tally of 20 goals alongside four assists did mark a fine return when compared to the 30 league strikes and three assists of his international teammate.
What he also boasts is largely intangible qualities, as his 0.8 key passes per game that season hide the fact that he forged 12 big chances, via Sofascore.
His starring assets are best exemplified by his boss Thomas Frank, who claimed:
“He is a special footballer, I think his character is unique in terms of leadership and driving his team. His link-up play and the way he sees his team-mates around in terms of combinations and then his ability to score goals. He is an all-around football player.”
This aligns well with Kane, who Jason Cundy outlined for those similar attributes that make him so special. He even went as far as to place him on a higher pedestal than Erling Haaland, whose 52 goals across all competitions broke all manner of records:
“I’m a fan of both Haaland and Kane but right now Harry Kane is a better frontman than Haaland.
“Harry Kane is a better fit for Man City than Haaland. He’s a better all-round player technically and he’s better in terms of linking up play. He can drop deep, players can run beyond him.”
Such an acquisition, even if he would only be available later in the campaign, would mark bad news for Richarlison, who has remained profligate at the start of this term despite publicly receiving his manager’s backing.
The Brazilian is not nearly as clinical as Toney, having scored a sole league goal in the whole of last year, and does not have the technical assets to compete either. Granted, his work rate would likely keep him around the side, but as an out-and-out number nine, the gulf in quality is clear.
Should Postecoglou take the risk, he would not only be replacing the former Everton ace but finally finding the perfect successor to the departed Kane.