Ivan Toney’s brilliant debut season with Brentford continued at the weekend as the forward netted his 30th league goal of the campaign, an incredible feat in what is the star’s first season as a regular at this level.
After developing his game in the lower divisions the 25-year-old made the move to Brentford last summer and has fired the Bees’ promotion chase after arriving from Peterborough.
Toney’s performances have already seen him linked with a Premier League move with the likes of Everton, Leicester and West Ham all rumoured to be interested in a player who has enjoyed a sensational season in the second tier.
Following his landmark goal, we look at the five most prolific seasons in Championship history.
Jordan Rhodes – 28 (2012/13)
Jordan Rhodes was another player who earned his stripes in the lower leagues before earning an opportunity further up the pyramid, bursting onto the scene with a prolific period at League One Huddersfield after failing to make the grade at Ipswich.
Rhodes fired Huddersfield to promotion to the Championship ahead of the 2012/13 season, but after just two appearances and two goals made an £8m club-record move to a Blackburn side who had just been relegated from the Premier League.
The Scotland international wasted little time in making an impact at Ewood Park and scored a further 26 league goals for the season despite featuring in a struggling side, finishing as runner-up for the division’s Golden Boot.
Rhodes reached 20+ league goals in each of the next two seasons for Rovers but was unable to fire the club into promotion contention, Blackburn finishing just outside the play-off places in the following two seasons after a disappointing 17th-placed finish in 2012/13.
Ross McCormack – 28 (2013/14)
Amongst the Championship’s most reliable sources of goals at his peak, Ross McCormack has reached 15+ league goals on five occasions in the second tier including a Golden Boot-winning season in 2013/14.
McCormack began his career in Scotland before moving south of the border, impressing during a three-year spell with Cardiff to earn a move to Leeds.
The Scottish forward enjoyed arguably the best period of his career at Elland Road, scoring 58 goals in 158 appearances in all competitions including a 28-goal Championship season in his final campaign with the club.
McCormack’s superb season earned him an £11m move to Fulham, before his career nosedived following an unsuccessful £12m switch to Aston Villa two seasons later.
Teemu Pukki – 29 (2018/19)
Norwich have bounced back to the Premier League at the first attempt this season, securing a second promotion from the Championship in just three campaigns.
Teemu Pukki has starred in both of those promotion-winning seasons and scored a staggering 29 goals as the Canaries won the Championship title in 2018/19, the Finland international named as the division’s Player of the Season.
Pukki’s performances since joining Norwich have been nothing short of sensational in the second tier, scoring 55 goals in just 84 appearances during his two seasons in the Championship.
Norwich will now hope that the 31-year-old – who has 26 league goals this season – can score the goals to consolidate the Canaries in the Premier League next season.
Glenn Murray – 30 (2012/13)
Up until this season, Glenn Murray was the only player to have hit 30 goals in a Championship season.
The well-travelled striker signed for Crystal Palace on a free transfer in 2011, but after scoring just six league goals following his initial step up from League One, few expected his incredible impact the following campaign.
Murray plundered a huge 30 goals to fire Crystal Palace into the play-offs, the forward the only Eagles player to reach double figures for the campaign on his way to a record-breaking season.
Kevin Phillips’ penalty sealed promotion in the play-off final against Watford, but it was Murray’s brilliant individual season that laid the foundations for Palace’s Premier League return.
Ivan Toney – 30 (2020/21)
Toney’s goal against Watford on Saturday saw the forward reach the 30-goal milestone, an incredible achievement for the summer signing after his step up from League One.
Toney was named as the third tier’s Player of the Season in 2019/20 and scored 40 league goals across two seasons for Peterborough, before making an immediate impact in stunning style with Brentford.
His pace, power and ruthless finishing ability – mixed with a driven desire to improve and test himself at the highest level – have made the forward arguably the star of the Championship season and he will look to take the goalscoring record outright when Brentford travel to Bristol City for their final league fixture on Saturday.
The 25-year-old had failed to make the grade at Newcastle after signing from Northampton as a teenager, but has worked hard on his game in the seasons since and now looks primed for crack at the Premier League in one way or another.
Brentford will hope that is amongst their ranks as they prepare for the drama of the play-offs once again, though top-flight clubs will be circling if the Bees fall short.