Ivan Toney to captain Brentford on his return from eight-month FA suspension

Ivan Toney will captain Brentford against Nottingham Forest on Saturday when he makes his comeback after an eight-month ban from the Football Association for breaching gambling regulations.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank began his press conference ahead of the clash with Forest by confirming that 27-year-old Toney will not only start the match but lead the side out in the absence of the injured Christian Norgaard.

Asked how Toney had been in training this week, Frank replied: “He (Toney) is buzzing. He’s very committed and excited. He can’t wait.

“He will start tomorrow and he will lead the team out as Christian is injured.”

Toney’s suspension ended on Wednesday and he celebrated with a social media post declaring he was “free”.

His last competitive match was in Brentford’s 1-0 defeat at Liverpool on May 6, but he has been allowed to train with his team-mates since September.

Frank hailed Toney’s leadership qualities since joining the club in 2020 and believes he is the second-best striker in the Premier League.

“Not only this week, the last three-and-a-half years, he is a special character in many ways,” Frank added.

“He’s a fantastic person to be around myself, the staff, the players, the energy he brings, the smile, the positivity, every day at the training ground.

“On the pitch he wants to win, he wants to help the team, of course it’s a massive boost. It’s like a new signing.

“He’s the second-best striker in my opinion in the Premier League. Unbelievable commitment, he wants to go out there and help the team win.”

Despite his ban, Toney has been linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea during the transfer window and he did not rule out moving away from the west London outfit this month.

Ivan Toney
Toney has been linked with big-money moves to Arsenal and Chelsea this money (Rhianna Chadwick/PA)

“It’s obvious I’d like to play for a top club, everybody wants to play for the top clubs, fighting for titles and these kinds of things.

“So whether it’s this January for a club to come in and pay the right money, who knows?

“But my main focus is doing what I do on the pitch and let the background work take care of itself.”

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