By West Ham Zone speaking to Frank McAvennie

13th May, 2023 | 5:10pm

We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium

Frank McAvennie has claimed that West Ham United could have signed Ivan Toney before he moved to Brentford but the club didn’t want him.

Toney was released by Newcastle five years ago before joining Peterborough where he netted 49 goals in 94 appearances before being signed by Brentford in a deal worth around £15m.

Since moving to west London Toney has notched an incredible 68 goals in 124 games, including 20 in the Premier League this season, and McAvennie has claimed he could have been doing that in claret and blue instead.

“They could’ve had Ivan Toney as well,” he told West Ham Zone.

He’s incredible. They could’ve had him and they didn’t want him. Now he’s banging them in. It’s incredible.

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“It annoys me that we could have had players like that. It’s a shame.”

David Moyes had been looking for a striker for several years until signing Gianluca Scamacca in a £35m deal last summer, and then he added to that with Danny Ings for £15m in January.

But neither striker has come close to matching what Toney has done this season, and if McAvennie’s claims are indeed true then it’s a huge shame that the club never brought him in.

His goals could have been the difference in several games this season and the position we have found ourselves in is due to a lack of goals.

The Hammers will have to find a way to keep him quiet on Sunday when the two teams meet, with Toney looking to help Brentford secure their highest ever Premier League finish while West Ham look to secure their safety for next season.