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Bryan Mbeumo’s Star Man showing against Spurs hints at more prominent role in Ivan Toney’s absence

On Saturday, fans and Dream Team gaffers got their first glimpse of Brentford without Ivan Toney (£6.1m).

Okay, not their first glimpse, the prolific striker has been injured occasionally, but the Bees’ short trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was their first game since their top scorer was officially banned for eight months for breaking rules relating to gambling.

Thomas Frank’s side will therefore be without the man who has scored 32 of his side’s 105 goals since they were promoted to the top flight for the majority of next season.

There’s a summer transfer window to come which will allow for a temporary loan replacement or even a new permanent centre-forward to deputise for Toney during his suspension.

But at the weekend, Bryan Mbeumo (£3.6m) showed that he may have the necessary credentials to step into his team-mate’s shoes in the coming months.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 20:   Bryan Mbeumo celebrates scoring Brentford's first goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Brentford FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 20, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Spurs aren’t up to much at the minute admittedly

The Frenchman scored two goals and assisted another in the second half against Spurs as Brentford came from 1-0 down to win 3-1.

Naturally, he left north London with the Star Man award.

In fact, not only was Mbeumo’s 20-point return his best single-game haul of the season, he’s currently Game Week 35’s best performer by a comfortable margin.

The 23-year-old is generously categorised as a midfielder in the realm of Dream Team when, in reality, he’s predominantly played as Toney’s strike partner since promotion.

However, against Spurs, he played as a more recognisable right winger with both his goals coming from typical positions; but the issue of who will replace Toney literally as centre-forward is a different conversation from who will score his goals.

Dream Team bosses should only concern themselves with the latter debate.

Mbeumo produced two precise finishes against Spurs to suggest he could hit double figures next season if tasked with being the team’s primary goal threat – he’s got nine this term.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 6: Bryan Mbeumo of Brentford gestures during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield on May 6, 2023 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

Nine goals and eight assists is a more than respectable return

Add in eight assists and four Star Man awards for a overall total of 130 points and you get an asset humming with potential.

It’s worth noting that four Brighton players – Kaoru Mitoma (£4.4m), Solly March (£4.8m), Pascal Gross (£3.3m), Alexis Mac Allister (£3.9m) – are the only midfielders above Mbeumo in the rankings among those without European fixtures to bolster their schedule.

Brentford have an outside chance of qualifying for Europe but their chances are hindered by the fact they host the winning machine that is Man City in their final fixture – although let’s not forget they won 2-1 at the Etihad back in December.

Regardless, if Mbeumo is classified as a midfielder again next term (to be decided) then he may well fit the bill for gaffers in search of a savvy value-for-money asset.