Thomas Frank provides Ivan Toney update as January transfer window looms
His gambling ban is almost up.
Brentford manager Thomas Frank revealed his excitement at the imminent return of Ivan Toney as his eight-month gambling ban nears its conclusion.
The striker was initially banned in May by the Football Association (FA) after he admitted to 232 breaches of their gambling regulations.
As his side prepare for a tricky test against Arsenal this weekend, Frank revealed that their star striker is itching to get going but refused to be drawn into any questions about his long-term future with the club.
‘I’m very excited for him to be close and back in the team. He’s been training with us. It’s been nice for all of us, but mainly for Ivan,’ Frank said at his pre-match press conference.
‘I know his focus is to get back and hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to it.’
Should he hit the ground running, there will no doubt be interest from several big clubs in January. Recent reports have suggested that Chelsea are the frontrunners for his signature, while Arsenal remain long-time admires of the England international.
One player who has more than likely played his last game for the Bees is David Raya, who has quickly displaced Aaron Ramsdale since he joined Arsenal on loan this summer with a £27million option to buy.
Raya is unavailable to play against his parent club this weekend, and Frank conceded that he’d be surprised if the Spaniard returned from his loan at the end of the season.
‘I know David inside out and I know what he’s capable of,’ Frank added. ‘It would be a surprise if he hasn’t [played his last Brentford game].
‘One of the things that always impressed me is his mentality. If he makes a mistake, then he moves on quickly which is a huge skillset.’
Aside from Toney’s absence, Brentford will also be without key centre-back Nathan Collins who picked up a knee injury while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
Josh Dasilva and Mikkel Damsgaard are also not fit, while Keane Lewis-Potter and Shandon Baptiste are available for selection once again.
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