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Arsenal handed Ivan Toney ultimatum as star scores on dazzling Brentford return | Football | Sport

Ivan Toney marked his return to English football with a superb freekick goal against Nottingham Forest on Saturday. Despite a lengthy absence from the field due to an eight-month ban for breaching the FA’s betting rules, Toney looked as though he had never left. 

A few days before his comeback he sat down with the Daily Mirror and Sky Sports, where a determined Toney, insisted he would hit the ground running for the Bees – and hit the ground running he did.

It took him just 19 minutes to get on the scoresheet as he bent a close-range freekick around the wall after Danilo threatened to spoil the Brentford hotshot’s return party with an audacious volley moments earlier.

Forest captain Ryan Yates was seen shouting at Matt Turner that there was space for Toney to guide the ball past the wall, but the right adjustments weren’t made as the Englishman reeled off in celebration.

It was a moment to savour for the forward who celebrated by holding up a shirt with the words: “For you Uncle Brian,” printed on the back. Throughout the game, which ended 3-2 in Brentford’s favour, Toney looked sharp and proved he is already back up to speed in England’s top flight. 

His promising display will only add to the interest from potential suitors Arsenal, who are in desperate need of a clinical striker. But the Gunners will know that they do not have much bargaining room when it comes to getting a deal over the line.

Brentford want a fee in the region of £100million if they are to let him go in January which will be hard for the north Londoners to stomach at this stage in the season. It is more likely a deal will get done in the summer but that could be too late for Arsenal, who are already falling behind in the title race.

Arsenal are left with the ultimatum of either waiting until the summer when their transfer kitty is replenished to make a bid for Toney or move for a lower-cost option in the winter transfer window. Serhou Guirassy has been on fire for Stuttgart this season with 17 goals in 14 Bundesliga games and has a £15.2m release clause in his deal. However, he wouldn’t be particularly pleased with playing second fiddle to Toney so a calculated decision must be made.

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