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What Ivan Toney can offer England & how he compares to Harry Kane

Ivan Toney has been named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the September friendlies.

It is Toney’s first call-up to the national side and if he features vs either Italy or Germany in the coming week, he will be the first Brentford player to represent England since 1939.

Toney earned his call-up after netting five and assisting two in seven Premier League games this season.

England’s other strikers this month are Harry Kane and Tammy Abraham.

Kane is England’s main no.9 and one of their most important players. He is their top scorer at major tournaments and is just a few goals away from becoming the Three Lions’ all-time top goalscorer.

So, even in bad form, it is almost certain that Southgate will start Kane in pretty much every match at the 2022 World Cup.

But if things are not going Kane’s way or England need more firepower up top, it is always good to have a back-up striker on the bench.

With Kane the benchmark for any England striker, it seems sensible to compare Toney to the Tottenham man and how their games differ.

Off the bat, it is clear that Kane, not too surprisingly, is more of a goal-scoring threat than Toney. However, given Toney plays in a worse team, his shooting stats in the 2022/23 Premier League are still pretty good:

Shooting stats per 90Ivan ToneyHarry Kane
Goals 0.66 0.8
xG 0.44 0.57
Shots on target 2.23 2.79
Shot assists 0.79 1.12

It is a similar story in the passing department. One of the great things about Kane is his ability to drop deep to create goal-scoring chances for his teammates.

Toney, whilst not bad in the passing department, plays second fiddle to Kane:

Passing stats per 90Ivan ToneyHarry Kane
Through passes 1.44 1.46
Passes to final third 3.14 4.79
Passes to penalty area 2.1 3.32
Forward passes 4.32 8.38
xA 0.17 0.23

Where Toney truly shines, though, and where he can offer England something different is in the air and with his defensive capabilities.

Kane is fairly slow and not the best presser, which can cause England issues if they are playing a side capable of keeping hold of the ball for long periods.

Bringing Toney on against a side like that, though, would help England win the ball back and also offer them more of an outlet in the air if they struggling to break a team down and resort to crossing/longballs:

Defensive/Aerial stats per 90Ivan ToneyHarry Kane
Defensive duels won 2.62 2.39
Aerial duels won 8.78 4.79
Loose ball duels won 9.17 5.32
Sliding tackles 0.52 0.13
Interceptions 2.1 1.2
Clearances 0.79 0.53
Presses 13.7 8.41

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Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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