Ivan Toney, that don't impress me much
Arsenal are linked with the currently suspended Brentford striker for a move in January (or beyond)
The Ivan Toney rumors to Arsenal never die, they just hibernate for a little while and come back as the opening of the next transfer window is in view. That may or may not be true but it certainly feels that way and with fresh reports from John Cross of the Mirror it is back in the news cycle again.
Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are likely to be in the mix for a centre forward who will come with a guarantee of goals, assists and a physical presence. Brentford will demand at least £60million for a player in January who will have just 18 months left on his contract.
And unless they get the right price, then they will not sell in the next transfer window and will see it out until at least next summer, knowing that his goals will help push them up the table.
Toney who is currently suspended likely would have been a hot commodity this summer for teams but with his inability to play until January was not moved. I thought (wrongly) this would cool interest in the player as he would be sidelined for a sustained period but it has done nothing of the sort.
There remains a strong infatuation with the profile that Toney brings. That classic physical presence, the target for long balls and crosses, and a menace for center backs to deal with. I just can’t help but think that is not a great fit for Arsenal and that he would disappoint compared to the expectations that would come with the very large fee Brentford would demand.
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Normally I would leave this to Adam, to do another ‘Adam ruins everything’ post but this is something that gets at me that I wanted to explain through my worries about the player and why I remain unconvinced about the player.
The penalty stat padding
Okay, so you scored a lot of goals,
That don’t impress me much.
Toney has scored 63 goals for his career at Brentford, which has come from 111 matches played and 108 90s. That comes out to 0.58 per 90 and would put him in the 86th percentile for strikers.
So why doesn’t that impress me? Well because a third of those have come from the penalty spot. Taking out the penalties his per 90 goal scoring drops to 0.4 per 90, which is down to the 69th (#NICE) percentile.
Last season he reached the mythical 20-goal mark and that helped really boost his profile. Taking those penalties out of his stats profile and it doesn’t look nearly as good as the top-line numbers would suggest it might have.
Brentford have gotten a fair amount of penalties as well while Toney has been with them, winning 7 (3rd most), 6 (tied for 3rd most), and 9 (tied for 2nd most in the Championship). Penalties are a bit random and depend on the team for example over that same period Arsenal has won 3, 6, and 5 penalties.
I could understand if you want to give him credit for the penalties he won because that is I think where more of the credit should go (given that the standard starting point for a penalty is 78% and even for a below-average penalty taker it is probably above 60% to be scored) that would add 3, 3, and 4 to his total rather than 6, 5, and 9.
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