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Brentford: Thomas Frank on Neal Maupay as Ivan Toney prepares for return to training

In charge: Thomas Frank  (PA)
In charge: Thomas Frank (PA)

Thomas Frank is confident Neal Maupay will rediscover his best form under him in a second spell at Brentford.

Maupay, 27, was a Brentford player between 2017 and 2019, enjoying the best spell of his career and hitting 25 league goals in the Championship in the 2018/19 season.

His goalscoring output slowed after leaving the Bees for Brighton, and the goals dried up further after he joined Everton in 2022, for whom the striker scored just once in 30 appearances. Brentford re-signed him on the summer transfer deadline day, and he is expected to make his second debut at Newcastle on Saturday evening.

“It’s quite remarkable”, said Frank. “I looked back four years ago when he was last year and Rico [Henry] was the only player left from that period. That tells us about the transformation of the club and team since he left.

“It’s fantastic to have Neal back. He’s a great character, a strong personality, a player that pushes every training and game and badly wants to win. He’s also matured. He lost his way a little bit, but there are always reasons for that. I am sure that together I can get the best out of Neal.

“I’m happy”, Frank said of Brentford’s transfer business. “I think we had a very good window. We replaced a very good goalkeeper with another very good goalkeeper that is Holland’s No1, so very pleased with that.

“We got a very good centre-back in that we think has a very big potential in Nathan, and we got Neal Maupay in — just on the last day to give us a little more flexibility and strength up front.

Frank also confirmed Ivan Toney would be making his return to training on Monday following his betting ban from all football-related activities. He cannot play for Brentford, however, until January 17.

Frank said: “For us it’s very good to have him back. He’s a very good player, but more importantly person to have around the group. He’s training hard, he’s very positive, he’s bringing a lot of energy which is very good for any group.

“We would prefer to have him in the team but that’s not possible.”