'Drogba-esque and better than Bamford' - Brentford striker Toney is 'world-class' says Hreidarsson

Didier Drogba Ivan Toney Patrick BamfordGetty

Brentford striker Ivan Toney is Didier Drogba-esque and possesses "world-class" potential that will make him a better Premier League frontman than Patrick Bamford, Callum Wilson and Ollie Watkins, says Hermann Hreidarsson.

The Bees are back in the big time for the first time since 1946-47, with an historic campaign set to be opened in style at home to London rivals Arsenal on Friday.

Toney, who hit 33 goals last season to help inspire a play-off final-winning promotion push, will be the star attraction for Thomas Frank's side and is being backed to make the same impact in the top tier as he did in the second.

What has been said?

Quizzed by Goal on whether Toney can be considered a better all-round forward than Leeds star Bamford, Newcastle No 9 Wilson and Aston Villa's England international Watkins, Hreidarsson - who has teamed up with UK cryptocurrency exchange CoinJar at the launch of their partnership with Brentford - said: "Yes, for sure. In my opinion, 100 per cent he has a little bit more. 

"He has everything. He will only improve when you play against higher quality defenders. He will get you goals in this league as well. He will score goals at any level. I think he is a world-class striker."

Who can Toney be likened to?

Hermann Hreidarsson Brentford CoinJar

The 25-year-old, who boasts a useful habit of scoring from the penalty spot, possesses the physical strength and technical ability to suggest that he should settle quickly back among English football's elite - having previously made two Premier League appearances for Newcastle.

His qualities are comparable to Chelsea legend Drogba, with Hreidarsson - who faced the Ivorian in his playing days - claiming Toney is cut from similar cloth.

"He is. He can dribble as well, he's a bit more mobile, a bit more jinky," the former Iceland international said. "He is powerful, he can jump, he is tall and he is strong and he can run. He has got a lot about him. 

"Just the experience of playing at the top level, he will have to rise with it and I think that is what's going to happen because he has shown that he has developed in the past few years. That is what will turn him into a world-class striker."

Can Brentford keep Toney?

The biggest challenge for Brentford is keeping Toney out of the clutches of a rival, with his stock rising to the point that Chelsea - who have spent big on Romelu Lukaku - were credited with interest when their striker search started this summer.

David Raya is another to have generated exit talk amid links to Arsenal, while Sergi Canos, Bryan Mbeumo, Christian Norgaard and Josh Dasilva have been catching the eye.

Brentford have no need to sell though, as they have done in the past with Watkins, Neal Maupay and Said Benrahma, and Hreidarsson expects that stance to be maintained.

He added: "It happened that top players want to play at the top level. Now, they are in the Promised Land and players don't need to move clubs to play in that league, so they are with Brentford. 

"That's the best way for these players because they have shown that they adapted to a system that they now know what's going on and can reflect what they are capable of. 

"They are in a better place and the money will rise higher. After one season there will be players that maybe it is hard to turn down offers, but right now they certainly don't need to sell anyone."

How will Brentford fare in 2021-22?

Brentford CoinJar

Frank will need Toney and Co to be firing on all cylinders this season, as they look to avoid making an immediate return to the Championship, but Hreidarsson expects the Bees to win plenty of admirers regardless of where they finish in the table.

A man who suffered Premier League relegation on five occasions in his playing career said of the ambition in west London: "It's more about the team and the style of play. The belief they have built in what they are doing, it has happened over a few years and the consistency they have shown. 

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"What they have in their armoury is that they are a big and powerful team, they are energetic, they have got pace and a system that will disrupt a lot of teams. They will be brave. I'm not worried about Brentford at all, I think they will take the league by storm and surprise a few people - and they will be fun!"

Hermann Hreidarsson previewed the 2021 Premier League season with CoinJar, Brentford FC's new Official Cryptocurrency Partner - the ultimate platform to buy, sell and spend Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Sign up in an instant and access digital currency wherever you go.

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