The Whites are looking to continue their rebuild under Jesse Marsch, and following the sales of their two key assets in Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips, they are now said to be eyeing Brentford’s Toney, who impressed during his maiden Premier League season last year.
However, according to Jones, Leeds could have to depart with £50m in order to secure the striker, as Brentford’s former star man Ollie Watkins departed for £33m and Toney has impressed more than the current Aston Villa man did.
Labelling the likelihood of the transfer as ‘mild’, Jones said on the Chasing Green Arrows show: “I’ll tell you why I’ve gone with mild – Brentford’s valuation on this guy is £45-50m.
“The reason that I was told that that’s going to be the price point is because Ollie Watkins was £33m when he joined Aston Villa, and he’d never played in the Premier League, and he went there and he did pretty well.
“Ivan Toney came into the Premier League, and last season, he scored one more goal than Ollie Watkins.
“£50m is obviously too much, but I can see why they might want to start there, or be like, ‘well, this is where you end up’.
“It might be £40m with £10m add-ons – whatever it ends up being – but it’s still a lot of money.
“Take away the financial aspect of it, if they can get him [for a] reasonable fee, I think that’s not a bad signing at all for Leeds. I think that’s actually a pretty good fit.”
TIF Thoughts on Jones’ comments…
While the £50m price tag for Toney may seem steep on first viewing, it makes perfect sense for Brentford to demand that sort of money when you take into account his performances last season, with 14 goals and six assists in all competitions for the Bees.
As well as the comparison Jones made to Ollie Watkins, Toney also performed better according to FBRef, as he ranked in the 84th percentile for progressive passes and the 79th for expected assists, while Watkins ranked in the 64th and 33rd percentile for these stats respectively.
Elsewhere, Toney showed to be a better defensive player by ranking in the 95th percentile for clearances, the 88th for aerial duels and the 86th for interceptions. Whereas, Watkins ranked 65th for clearances, 68th for aerial duels and 73rd for interceptions.
Toney has proved he is such an important player for Brentford, and with their challenging season coming up, as well as the Watkins comparison, it is easy to see why they are demanding such a huge fee. It will be incredibly difficult to replace his output both in an attacking sense and defensive contributions from the striker position.