‘Arsenal Might Have To Go For Him’ – Paul Merson urges Arteta To Sign ‘Available’ International

Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

Image of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium. CREDIT: 'Emirates Stadium by fakelvis is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Paul Merson believes that Arsenal might be forced into trying to sign Ivan Toney in January.

The Gunners were left angered and rather red-faced on Sunday afternoon as they surrendered a lead twice, at home, against their biggest rivals and also managed to waste several golden opportunties throughout the match.

Arsenal saw their former Premier League champions, Gabriel Jesus presented with one of the easiest chances of his career in the first half as he pinched the ball off James Maddison he only had Guglielmo Vicario to beat, but he panicked and blasted an effort way over the bar.

Jesus has never been clinical ever since he came to the Premier League managing to score 70 goals in 189 appearances for both Manchester City and now Arsenal, whereas Eddie Nketiah did more off the ball than with it at his feet.

Merson Urges Arsenal To Sign Ivan Toney

The England international was lucky to remain on the tich after his reckless challenge on Vicario and also failed to register a single effort on goal, which has prompted Merson to launch a strong attack on the Gunners’ misfiring striker department.

“I’ve always said it from day one – Eddie Nketiah is not going to win you the Premier League,” Merson claimed. “You need a proper centre forward. I’m not blaming Nketiah because they drew 2-2 with Tottenham but with 32 games to go and all the Champions League games they have to play, I don’t think he takes them to the next level.

“I don’t even think Gabriel Jesus takes them to the next level. I was so confident that Arsenal would win on Sunday but when I saw the teams, I was majorly worried.

“Jesus on the wing, Nketiah up front, Fabio Vieira – I don’t think he’s good enough. Then Declan Rice comes off and Jorginho comes on.

“It’s alright sitting there and thinking: ‘they need a centre forward’ – but who is there? Only Ivan Toney is available for them in January – there aren’t many centre forwards around in the world. They’re a dying breed.

“Toney is a good player – he can hold the ball up, he’s good in the air. Arsenal might have to go for him. But there are not a million centre forwards around.”

Gunners Must Make An Upgrade On Nketiah

It’s a damning view taken by Merosn in terms of how little he believes in both Jesus and Nketoah despite them both playing a key role in the Gunners’ success last season, but bringing in Ivan Toney would signal a major upgrade.

Since coming into the league with Brentford, Toney has netted 28 goals in 56 games for a side who’ve never qualified for Europe, but getting him will be another matter given the Bees won’t want to lose him, especially midseason.

Also, because Thomas Frank has spoken about how Brentford values him more than the £105 million that was paid for Declan Rice, and also more than Chelsea paid for Moises Caicedo, it would require a significant outlay that the Gunners may not be able to afford until at least the summer.

It’s not just the price tag which could put off Arsenal, but also that other clubs have been alerted to Frank’s comments about Brentford being a selling club for the right price, and now Manchester United, Chelsea and even Toney’s former club, Newcastle United, are extensively scouting him.

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Written by

Aaron Hindhaugh

Qualified and experienced journalist covering all aspects of news and sport. Specialist in both Men's and Women's football with increasing coverage of golf and tennis.