Why Ivan Toney to Middlesbrough would be a real coup
According to the Yorkshire Post, Middlesbrough are plotting a raid for Peterborough United star Ivan Toney in the January transfer window, with the Teessiders keen to bolster their attacking unit during the mid-season trading period.
The 23-year-old is currently gobbling up the goals for the Posh in League One, accumulating a staggering 10 goals in 13 league appearances for Darren Ferguson’s side and his stunning start to the campaign hasn’t eluded the eyes of Boro, who are struggling in the Championship following a woeful start to life under Jonathan Woodgate.
Having managed only a couple of victories from their first 12 Championship outings, Middlesbrough are hovering just above the relegation with 10 points and Woodgate might be forced into making significant changes in January should there be no significant improvement over the next couple of months.
Toney, who rose through the youth ranks at Northampton Town in League Two, was signed by Newcastle United on a long-term contract back in 2015 but the striker made just 4 first-team appearances for the Magpies over the course of an ill-fated spell at Tyneside that was blighted by lack of opportunities.
The 23-year-old Northampton-born frontman spent time on loan at Barnsley, Shrewsbury Town, Wigan Athletic and Scunthorpe United in League One before completing a permanent move to Peterborough United last summer.
Toney hasn’t looked back since then and has gone on to establish himself as a prolific goalscorer in the third-tier over the past twelve months.
The former Newcastle man bagged a staggering 23 goals in 55 appearances across all competitions for the Posh in the previous campaign and he looks well on course to emulating those numbers this term as well.
Meanwhile, Boro’s lacklustre start to the campaign has yielded meagre returns of 11 goals in 12 league games, which is one of the poorest scoring records in the entire division and if those numbers are anything to go by, it is hardly a surprise to see them languishing at the wrong end of the table.
Lack of feasible alternatives has forced Woodgate to rely too heavily on Britt Assombalonga to deliver the goods in front of goal and while the former Nottingham Forest man has managed to find the net 4 times thus far, Middlesbrough certainly need a lot more from him, as well as the other attackers, if they are to secure a respectable finish.
Rudy Gestede’s involvement has been limited to only 4 substitute appearances and the need to bring in a new centre-forward in January is pretty apparent.
To that end, Boro’s links with Peterborough striker Ivan Toney is likely to come as a piece of welcome news to the fans at the Riverside Stadium and the Teessiders completing a swoop for the in-form 23-year-old could go a long way towards sorting out their ongoing problems in front of goal.
A fast, agile and hardworking striker with a deadly eye for goal and good aerial pedigree, Toney has illustrated his proficiency in finding the net on a regular basis in League One.
While cutting the mustard in the Championship is a lot more difficult, one does get the feeling that the Northampton-born ace has all that it takes to make the step up in January.
As per whoscored, Toney has averaged 4.6 aerial duels, 3.8 shots and 1.8 key passes per game in League One this term, figures which are a testament to his well-rounded abilities as a centre-forward.
Toney has certainly outgrown his humble surroundings in the third-tier and his strike rate over the past year or so looks impressive enough for Boro to play a gamble on him.
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He might not be an instant upgrade on Assombalonga, who is already an established striker at the Championship level, but few would back against him doing a better job than Gestede.
With that in mind, Middlesbrough should leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of Ivan Toney in January as he might well hold the key to getting their season back on track.