Only a couple of weeks ago the doubters were out in force. Brentford, the cynics said, had made a rare transfer market blunder.
In his first few games since moving to west London as Ollie Watkins’ heir apparent, Ivan Toney drew a blank on four successive occasions.
But patience, of course, is a virtue – especially when you’re talking about a player in a new league and settling in at a new club.
And, in the space of just three weeks, Brentford’s new number nine has gone from a £5 million ‘flop’ into the hottest striker in the Football League and the Championship’s top scorer to boot.
After hitting doubles against Preston North End and Coventry City, Toney was at it again at Hillsborough last night.
Showcasing predatory instincts to tap home his first of the night after a great curving run to stay onside, Toney powered in a bullet header for a seventh goal in four matches. No-one is questioning the former Peterborough star’s hefty price tag these days.
And with Saturday’s miserable Old Firm collapse still looming over Parkhead, Celtic supporters are starting to wonder whether they missed out on one of the summer’s most inspired signings.
“Toney would be a revelation for Celtic, he’d be a star, for definite. He’d score 30 to 40 goals up there, he really would,” Peterborough chairman Barry Fry told the Sun in July, confirming the Hoops’ interest in his coveted centre-forward.
“Not only is he brilliant in the box, scoring and creating with his right foot, left foot and head, at 6ft 4in he’s also our best defender. Celtic will get £40 million to £50 million for him.”
It’s difficult not to mull over Fry’s bullish prophecy as Celtic prepare to take on Serie A pace-setters AC Milan tonight in their Europa League opener.
With Odsonne Edouard injured, where are the goals going to come from against Europe’s most in-form side?