Arsenal icon Paul Merson has urged the Gunners to sign controversial Brentford striker Ivan Toney in the upcoming January transfer window.
Merson said that Arsenal will not win the Premier League if they continue to rely on Eddie Nketiah saying that ‘I don’t think he takes them to the next level’.
Instead, he thinks that Toney – despite his lengthy football ban – would be an upgrade on the former Leeds United loanee and has encouraged Arsenal to bring him on board.
What did Paul Merson say regarding Ivan Toney?
“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.
“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.”
Should Arsenal sign Ivan Toney?
While the prospect of snapping Toney up certainly seems tantalising on paper, we would urge Arsenal to exercise caution before throwing the chequebook at him.
Toney is a phenomenally talented striker and has everything that you could ask for in a centre-forward – but it remains to be seen if he will still be playing at the same level following his lengthy absence.
Certainly, when he returns to the game, he will not be fully match fit. He has only just begun training with the Brentford squad again – he still has plenty to do in order to catch up.
Nevertheless, Toney is an elite athlete and will have been doing whatever he can to remain sharp. As such, while his fitness will need to be considered, it may not be as much of a factor as some may initially believe it to be.
Moreover, Toney’s goal scoring record in the Premier League has been excellent so far. Over the course of 68 games, he has scored 32 goals in total.