Exclusive: England striker back on the agenda for Chelsea; Blues may change strategy

Brentford striker Ivan Toney is back on Chelsea’s shortlist for this summer, our writer Simon Phillips has reported on his Substack this morning.

Toney is a name we saw connected heavily with a move to Chelsea 18 months ago, but a ban from football suddenly killed all talk of a move.

In general, the Blues’ striker chase seems to have changed shape somewhat. When Nicolas Jackson signed a year ago, we remained continually linked with elite options to join him. That included players like Toney, as well as Victor Osimhen. But a good first year for Jackson has meant that the links have turned more to young, rising prospects like Jhon Duran in recent times.

Phillips’ reigniting of the Toney story may mean that attempts to look at younger options have ground to a halt, or may indicate a general change in strategy now that new boss Enzo Maresca is getting to work.

Ivan Toney with a Chelsea logo.

What a return to Toney means for Chelsea

This is all rather interesting, and could yet take a further twist if Toney continues to play a role with England at the Euros. His long gambling ban and subsequent quiet performances for Brentford upon his return totally deflated the chatter about him and a potential big move, and seemed to deflate the market for him too.

But an important cameo for England in the dramatic win over Slovakia on Sunday brought him back into the spotlight, and he could yet have a crucial goal (or penalty) in him in the tournament to bring the spotlight back onto him.

Because Toney is now into the last year of his contract, Brentford are still motivated sellers this summer, and teams are always interested in experienced number 9s. So you simply can’t rule out a big move – whether to Chelsea or elsewhere – until the window is closed.

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