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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the Gtech Community Stadium

Only Kane more deadly than Toney when it comes to English strikers, says Bees boss

Thomas Frank believes there is no better English striker around after Harry Kane than Ivan Toney, right now.

The striker plundered a hat-trick in ice-cool fashion, with a penalty, free-kick and calm chip and if he keeps up his prolific form, he may soon nudge Gareth Southgate into a call-up.

Toney’s treble was the stand-out feature of another rip-roaring Bees display as they put Leeds to the sword at the Gtech. They won 5-2 but might easily have scored even more.

“I’ve been asked this question a few times before,” Frank said of the possibility of Toney earning an international call-up.

“Every single time, I've said that Gareth is the guy who will decide who to call-up. And he is the person who knows most, of course, about all English players.

“I haven’t seen everyone, so I think everyone needs to have that in perspective, but on top of my head, looking at strikers in form, there’s not a better striker right now.

“Of course, Harry Kane is the number one, but after Kane, for me, there’s not a better striker. There are other considerations, of course, but in-form strikers, after Kane, I don’t see a better one.

“England have been in a few penalty shoot outs and if they want to win one, then they’ll want to pick Ivan.”

Frank joked that: “He missed the last one, so there are still things to improve,” but was clearly enamoured with his star striker’s display.

“So many times, he scores or creates a goal,” the Dane said. “It’s not only his goals, it’s his work ethic, his ability to press, his presence, his link-up play.

“I’ve said many times I think he’s the best penalty-taker in the world and hopefully I will never get bored of saying that every single time he scores. It is because he’s practising it and has got a technique and a strategy.

“The free-kick obviously, wow, it’s something he’s been working on. It’s a typical Ivan goal where he shows his fantastic technique and then the last one is just ridiculous. That composure to dink it over the defender when normally a player would smash it or sidefoot pull that finish out of the hat is, yes, good.”

About the team’s performance as a whole, Frank acknowledged there were a few defensive issues, but said: “Going forward on the counter-attacks, we’re such a threat going forward. Scoring five goals in a premier League game is a first time, so there’s a little bit of history there. It’s remarkable.”


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