Premier League • England

Arteta urged to brutally sell beloved Arsenal duo to raise funds for supreme January signing that can win them title

Arsenal stars Gabriel Magalhaes, Emile Smith Rowe and William Saliba

Arsenal stars Gabriel Magalhaes, Emile Smith Rowe and William Saliba

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been told to offload two talented young players so that he can ensure striker target Ivan Toney arrives at the Emirates next month.

Toney has long been touted as Arsenal’s ideal signing to bolster their striker ranks in January. Arteta can currently use Gabriel Jesus as his main No 9, but while the Brazilian is fantastic at linking up play and making those around him better, he is not the ruthless goalscorer that Manchester City have in Erling Haaland, for example.

Several pundits have urged Arsenal to sign someone like Toney to bag them at least 20 goals per season and provide the final piece of the puzzle as the Gunners look to end their wait for Premier League glory.

The Englishman was in fantastic form last season, bagging 20 goals in 33 matches and finishing behind only Haaland and Harry Kane in the Prem scoring charts.

Toney has not played since early May due to a ban for breaching betting rules, and he is set to return in January. Despite that ban, Toney’s stock only appears to be rising, as multiple clubs view him as an ideal solution to their striker problems.

Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have also been heavily linked with the 27-year-old, but Arsenal are currently at the front of the queue to land him from Brentford.

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On Tuesday, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano revealed that Arsenal are aware Toney would rather join them than any of his other suitors. However, Brentford will demand big money for their talisman – potentially as much as £80million – as they are desperate to keep him.

Given Arsenal spent over £200m on the likes of Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber in the summer, and have also agreed a £27m loan-to-buy deal with Brentford for goalkeeper David Raya, that £80m price tag could prove problematic.

Arsenal told how they can strike £80m deal

However, former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor believes he has a solution. During an appearance on talkSPORT, Agbonlahor has suggested Arsenal let go of treasured academy products Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah so they can afford to capture Toney.

“If I am Arsenal now, behind the scenes, I would be doing everything I can regarding Financial Fair Play to make it [the Toney signing] happen,” the pundit said (via the Daily Express).

“What can we do? Can we sell Smith Rowe maybe? Can we sacrifice someone and get £35-£40m for Smith Rowe?”

Fellow pundit Darren Bent then asked if Arsenal should offload Nketiah as well, to give them an even better chance at signing Toney. Agbonlahor replied: “Yeah, 100 per cent. If you could [use] Eddie Nketiah and say to Brentford, ‘here you go’. Here’s £15-20m for Ivan Toney, or maybe £30m. 100 per cent.”

Involving Nketiah in a potential player-plus-cash deal for Toney would make sense, as the latter would essentially be arriving in North London to take both his and Jesus’ place. Toney and Jesus could then battle for the main starting role under Arteta.

Although, it would be tough for Arteta to let Nketiah go, as he rates the 24-year-old highly. And Arsenal fans also love Nketiah as he is a homegrown talent.

Smith Rowe also came through the ranks at Arsenal before forcing his way into their senior squad. But the attacking midfielder has fallen down the pecking order in the last two seasons and would likely want to join a different club in order to play regularly once again.

Meanwhile, an agent has talked up the possibility of Arsenal’s ‘greatest’ academy product leaving for one of two European giants in the near future.