Saturday, December 2, 2023

Ivan Toney says Virgil van Dijk is ‘too nice’ and ‘there’s scarier defenders out there’

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Ivan Toney doesn’t fear Virgil van Dijk and says the Liverpool defender is ‘too nice’ and ‘there’s scarier defenders out there’.

The Brentford star, who has been called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad, named his dream five-a-side team and included Van Dijk.

But in doing so, he appeared to aim a subtle dig at the Dutchman, claiming he’s ‘too nice’ while also saying ‘there’s scarier defenders out there’.

After picking Ederson, Frank Onyeka, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, the 26-year-old went onto select Van Dijk.

Speaking to InchByInch, he said: “I’ll get Van Dijk in there, definitely.”

When asked if Van Dijk was a player he feared, the striker replied: “Nah, I don’t think, he’s too nice.

“There’s scarier defenders out there, they look scarier as well.”

Toney added: “He doesn’t look scary, he’s too nice!”

The former Newcastle United and Peterborough man scored 12 goals in the Premier League last season.

And he’s already weighed in with five goals this term, with Southgate rewarding his impressive form by handing him an international call-up.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank believes Toney’s inclusion in the England team will give everyone at the club a lift.

“He is one of our leaders and has excelled as a player and a person. It will give everyone a little lift,” he explained.

“Every match, Brentford fans can see what he brings to our team, all over the pitch, and I hope England fans get a chance to see it as well.

“To have someone in the England squad is a huge achievement for everyone at the club. To have an English player, at an English club, in the England squad, given the competition for those places, is a moment for us to cherish.

“I hope he does enough to get a chance to earn a cap. It will be a top, top day for everyone at Brentford if that happens.”

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