Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta raved about Ivan Toney‘s journey in football over the last few years and even compared it to Jamie Vardy’s rise to fame.
The Brentford striker was never a superstar. He has had to work extremely hard to reach the level he’s at today, and his brilliant performances this season have even earned him an England call-up.
Mikel Arteta says Brentford striker Ivan Toney’s story is ‘extraordinary’
When Toney was just 19, he got himself a move to Newcastle United from Northampton Town. He spent six loan spells away from St James’ Park in the next three years, and it became clear that he had no future there.
Toney then secured a move to Peterborough United in 2018, and that’s where his career really kicked off. He scored 49 goals and provided 16 assists in 94 appearances for the Posh, and that earned him a move to Brentford.
Since joining the Bees, Toney has scored a ‘stunning‘ 52 goals and has provided 19 assists in 96 games. He has become a lethal striker at the top level, and he’s now valued at a staggering £50 million – that’s some rise, isn’t it?
Arteta, like many of us, is blown away by Toney’s story, and the Arsenal boss raved about him ahead of his side’s game against Brentford on Sunday.
He said, as per Arsenal.com: “I think it’s a great story. This country has had stories like this in the last few seasons – the same with Jamie Vardy – and I think it is extraordinary.
“It means that again, the opportunities are open for everybody. That it is just about showing consistency showing quality and belief.
“It can happen at any age and isn’t something that is determined already. If you don’t go through that phase in that period of life, you can still become a professional player, a top player, and an international player, so I think it’s a great thing.”
Toney mocked Arsenal last year
Arsenal kicked off last season at the Brentford Community Stadium and Toney, even though he didn’t score, caught everyone’s eye. The Bees picked up a really impressive 2-0 win, and the Englishman enjoyed that.
After the game 13 months ago, Toney took to Twitter and decided to have a pop at Arsenal. “Nice kick about with the boys,” he tweeted, and that didn’t go down well.
It was just the Arsenal supporters who were having a go at Toney back then, but the Amazon documentary revealed this summer that Arteta didn’t take too kindly to the striker’s comments either.
The Spaniard’s seen using that tweet to fire up his players before the reverse fixture, and Arsenal got the job done that time. It will be interesting to see if Toney will make the headlines again this weekend.