Frank backs Brentford striker Toney for England call-up

Thomas Frank believes there is not an English striker other than Harry Kane that is playing better than Ivan Toney right now.

Toney scored a hat-trick as Brentford beat Leeds 5-2 in an enthralling clash which also saw Leeds boss Jesse Marsch sent off.

The 26-year-old scored his first from the spot after being fouled by Luis Sinisterra before bending in a wonderful free-kick before half-time.

And he completed his hat-trick in style in the second half, lobbing the ball in from 25 yards after Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier had rushed out to clear.

Asked about whether Toney deserves to be called up for the next England squad, Frank said: “Gareth (Southgate) is, of course, the person who knows most about all English players and especially strikers.

“And I haven’t seen everyone, I think everyone needs to have that in perspective.

“But off the top of my head, looking at (English) strikers in form, there’s not a better striker right now. Of course Kane is the number one but after Kane, for me, there’s not a better striker in form.

“Then I know there’s other things you need to take into consideration when you put a squad together, like performances in the past and earning the shirt.

“But in-form strikers, I don’t see a better one after Kane.”

Leeds had twice threatened to come back in the game, first making it 2-1 through Sinisterra in the first half before Marc Roca’s second-half strike made it 3-2.

But goals from Bryan Mbeumo and substitute Yoane Wissa sealed the points for the Bees, and Frank also said Toney’s first-half free-kick was the result of some extra practise in training.

“The free-kick, obviously, wow,” Frank said.

“It’s something he’s been working on and he’s been saying he wants to take more free-kicks so I’ve told him he needs to practice.

“He has started practising and it’s a classic Ivan goal where he shows his fantastic technique, you notice how well he connects with the ball with his right and left foot, but also his cleverness to put it to the keeper’s side.”