Premier League • England

Arteta urged to make ‘no-brainer’ Arsenal signing, with current forward struggling in four key areas

Arsenal forwards Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah

Arsenal forwards Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah

A former Premier League striker has added more fuel to the fire as Arsenal hunt Brentford centre-forward Ivan Toney, with Eddie Nketiah holding the Gunners back due to four sub-par characteristics.

Toney is not currently featuring in the Premier League as he is serving an eight-month ban after being found guilty of betting breaches. The Bees talisman is allowed to return in January, though it is unclear whether he will ever play for Brentford again.

Toney is understood to view the winter transfer window as the ideal time to take the next step in his career by signing for one of England’s truly elite teams.

Tottenham have been mentioned as one possible destination, as they never truly replaced Harry Kane in the summer. However, at the time of writing, it seems more likely that Toney will sign for either Arsenal or Chelsea.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta can currently rely on Gabriel Jesus and Nketiah up front. But Alan Shearer has criticised Jesus for his lack of goalscoring, while Nketiah is not quite at the right level to help Arsenal challenge Manchester City.

Chelsea, meanwhile, brought in Nicolas Jackson over the summer. But after his troublesome start, they are also considering whether to dip back into the market, in a move which could see them battle Arsenal for Toney.

READ MORE: Liverpool surge ahead of Arsenal in heated transfer race for top class Brazil international

On Wednesday, transfer insider Dean Jones suggested Arsenal would be Toney’s ideal next destination.

And that move would please former Aston Villa and England player Gabby Agbonlahor, as he has ripped into Nketiah over four key issues with his game.

Eddie Nketiah holding Arsenal back – pundit

In an interview with Football Insider, Agbonlahor said: “I look at Nketiah and I see a player you bring on for 10 minutes if you need a goal. He’s more of a super sub.

“He’s not strong enough, not quick enough, he misses chances, he doesn’t have the instinct in front of goal.

“It’s different if you have the pace, but Nketiah doesn’t have that killer speed.

“Even Gabriel Jesus isn’t prolific, he’s not strong enough to lead the line on his own.

“That’s why I believe Ivan Toney is now a no-brainer signing for Arsenal.

“Whoever gets him in January, really, has got a great chance of winning the title.”

Agbonlahor isn’t the only pundit to discuss a possible Arsenal swoop for Toney. Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell recently urged Arteta to land the England ace alongside Wolves winger Pedro Neto.

“Two players that we know can come in and hit the ground running are Toney and Neto,” he said.

“£60m [for Neto]. You take Toney all day long, £80m. If someone says pay that and you win the title, then you pay it, don’t you.

“You get Neto as well. You solve the problem of the [Bukayo] Saka [backup] dilemma. And [Gabriel] Martinelli because Neto can play on that side as well.

“But Toney is the key. He offers that big and strong striker, who can cause Man City problems. We have seen him cause Liverpool problems.”

Meanwhile, David Ornstein has provided an insight into Arsenal’s transfer plans for the January window, as well as which player could join on a permanent basis next.