Toney’s England call-up an ‘unbelievable moment’ for Brentford – Frank

Thomas Frank says Ivan Toney’s England call-up is an “unbelievable moment” for Brentford – and believes the striker is yet to reach his full potential.

Toney was called up by England manager Gareth Southgate for the Nations League games against Italy and Germany later this month after scoring five goals in the first six games of the Premier League season, including a hat-trick against Leeds in his last game.

And the Brentford boss believes it represents the progress the Bees have made in such a short space of time.

“For the club, I think it’s an unbelievable story. I had the staff in this morning and praised them,” he said.

“I think Peter Gilham, our Mr Brentford, put it quite well. He said when Ivan got the call-up: 15 years ago we were bottom of League Two and lost 3-0 to MK Dons at home in front of 4,000 fans.

“15 years later, (we have) our first England international in 83 years and we are playing our second season in the Premier League.

“It’s a remarkable story and you can see the pride when I speak to people around the club or the fans. So it’s very big. I think it’s a much bigger moment than people understand, especially when you’ve been here for a long time.”

Toney could become Brentford’s first player to play for England since Leslie Smith in 1939, should he feature against Italy or Germany.

The striker has not previously played for England at any age group having spent much of his career in the Football League, prior to winning promotion to the Premier League with Brentford in 2021, and Frank believes there is still much more to come from the 26-year-old.

“The journey has definitely not been straightforward for him and he’s dreamt about being an England international since he was a kid,” Frank explained.

“He took a few detours on the path to get the first call-up.

“But his ability in the box and his link-up play is at a very, very high international level.

“I definitely think Ivan’s potential is not at its top yet. The sky is the limit I would say, especially with the ability he has had to step up this season.”