TalkSPORT pundit backs Newcastle United reject who 'bullied' Van Dijk for England nod

TalkSPORT pundit Darren Bent has argued that former Newcastle United striker Ivan Toney deserves an England call-up.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 12:00 pm
Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool tangles with Ivan Toney of Brentford. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old has impressed since arriving in the Premier League with newly-promoted Brentford, and has already hit two goals and two assists in six top flight outings this season.

Toney was on hand to play a key role in his side’s dramatic 3-3 draw against Liverpool on Saturday evening too, and Bent believes the forward – who left Newcastle on a permanent basis back in 2018 – has what it takes to be a success at international level.

Speaking on talkSPORT, the former Sunderland striker said: “I think he has been absolutely brilliant. You start looking about who’s playing better than him at this present time – and he’s English – nobody.

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“Harry Kane obviously started off slow and he’s going to play as England captain.

“Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been out injured. Danny Ings – hit with a dry spell.

“Watkins has done okay, but for me, Ivan Toney, I think he’s all-round game has got a couple of goals and his all-round play in terms of the way he kind of bullied Liverpool as well.

“Good battle between him and Van Dijk. I think he deserves it, I really do.”

Toney joined the Toon Army from Northampton Town in 2015, but made just four senior appearances during his time on Tyneside. Instead, he spent the vast majority of his stint with the club out on loan, enjoying spells with the likes of Shrewsbury Town and Scunthorpe United.

In 2018, he signed for Peterborough United, before arriving at Brentford in September of last year.