According to Football.London, Chelsea were expected to compete with Arsenal for Ivan Toney’s signing in the upcoming year, but a recent development may have provided Arsenal with a significant boost in order to finalize a deal for the 27-year-old.
Per David Ornstein, Toney is not presently among the names shortlisted by Chelsea for January’s transfer targets. Ornstein mentioned to NBC that Toney’s age doesn’t fit the profile of players usually pursued by the Blues. Chelsea abstained from pursuing James Maddison during the summer due to him not meeting their ’25 and under’ transfer strategy, which enabled Tottenham to secure a £40 million deal for the 26-year-old playmaker.
Toney’s Outstanding Performance in the Previous Premier League Season
Toney had a remarkable season with Brentford last year, where he delivered a series of impressive displays as the focal point of their attack before facing charges of gambling, and ultimately being banned until January 2024. The 27-year-old scored 21 goals and provided five assists in 35 appearances for the Bees across all competitions in the previous campaign.
The English forward excelled as the leading striker, with an average of 2.8 shots, 0.8 key passes, and 0.5 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League. Nevertheless, he needs to work on improving his link-up play up front, as indicated by his pass completion rate of 62% in league matches (statistics from whoscored).
His current contract with the English club is set to expire in 18 months. Therefore, potential suitors will need to present a compelling offer if they intend to secure the services of the Brentford star in the upcoming January transfer window, as the Bees have set their asking price at £100 million.
Should The Chelsea Boss Reconsider The “25 And Under” Transfer Strategy?
Chelsea Football Club has long been renowned for its meticulous transfer strategy, with a strong emphasis on recruiting young and promising talents under the age of 25. This approach has paid dividends, as they have assembled a formidable squad of youthful talents in recent years.
Chelsea’s current transfer strategy, focusing on young talents, has been largely successful. This strategy has brought in players like Reece James, Levi Colwill, Enzo Fernandez and so on, who have become integral parts of the squad. However, it does have its limitations, as demonstrated by the club’s decision to forgo the opportunity to sign James Maddison during the summer due to age constraints.
Ivan Toney, at 27, may not fit the mold of Chelsea’s usual transfer targets. Still, his experience, proven goal-scoring ability, and physical presence could offer a different dimension to the squad. The Blues’ attacking options have been inconsistent, and Toney’s arrival might provide the much-needed stability and a different playing style, especially as a target man.
While Chelsea’s “25 and under” transfer strategy has been highly effective, there are instances where exceptions might make sense. The case of Ivan Toney, a 27-year-old striker in the prime of his career, could be one such exception. His remarkable goal-scoring record, physical attributes, and potential to improve his link-up play make him a compelling prospect for the West London club. Hence, Mauricio Pochettino should reconsider the transfer strategy at Stamford Bridge.