Ivan Toney responds to Arsenal and Chelsea transfer speculation ahead of Brentford return

Ivan Toney is set to return to Premier League action this month  (Getty Images)
Ivan Toney is set to return to Premier League action this month (Getty Images)

Brentford striker Ivan Toney says he wants to “repay” the club’s faith in him as the striker prepares to return to football following an eight-month ban for betting offences.

Toney, who scored 20 Premier League goals last season, has been sidelined since May after admitting to 232 breaches of the FA’s rules for betting on football but is to make his comeback this month.

The 27-year-old has been heavily linked with a January move, however, with The Independent reporting that Arsenal and Chelsea are interested in signing the striker, who Brentford value at £100m.

Toney returns to Brentford witht the club in a dire run of form. Thomas Frank’s injury-hit side have lost five Premier League games in a row to be dragged into a relegation battle ahead of their next fixture against Nottingham Forest on January 20.

And the England international said in an interview with Sky Sports and the Daily Mirror that he wants to help Brentford and fire the Bees away from trouble after the support the club showed him during his ban.

“Thomas Frank has been nothing but the biggest help I could have asked for – the whole club has,” Toney said.

“From putting on extra sessions for me, from taking their time out to put a session on and go outside when it’s raining when they’re not supposed to be in. I have a lot to repay them and I can’t wait to try and do that.

“The fans were behind me. Even when I wasn’t at their games, they were singing my name. A friend of mine sent me a video of the fans singing my name, I got goosebumps to know that they’re still behind me, even though I’m not there.

“With Brentford, they’re struggling at the moment but I’m sure when I’m back I will play a big part to get them out of the losing form they’ve been in. I can’t wait to get back and be helping my team-mates.”

Toney added that he is not worried about the “pressure” of Brentford relying on his goals amid an absence of other forwards, with Bryan Mbeumo and Kevin Schade injured and Yoane Wissa at the Africa Cup of Nations with DR Congo.

“It’s just excitement to get back on the pitch,” he added. “Everybody at Brentford knows I will do my best to try and get the club out of the sticky patch we’re in.”

Toney meanwhile revealed how he spent his eight-month ban and said he fell out of love with football during the early weeks of his suspension, where he had to train alone and away from Brentford.

“I didn’t watch football for a while. In a way I punished myself. There was a stage I probably did fall out of love with football,” Toney said.

“Missing games and not being around my team-mates was tough. I was confused but what’s done is done now, I can’t dwell on these things. Life’s not fair, we know this, the more you dwell on it the more it’s going to hurt you.”