Arsenal told £25m striker who bossed Van Dijk is better signing than two Edu transfer picks

Virgil Van Dijk, in action for Liverpool in their Premier League game away at Brentford

Arsenal have been told to do all in their power to bring in Ivan Toney to the club, with one observer insisting he is far better than two transfer options shortlisted by technical director Edu.

With Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both poised to leave, thoughts are turning to the signing of a new striker. Indeed, the French striker now has just under nine months remaining  of his contract at Arsenal and looks destined to leave.

Talks over an extension have so far failed to make a breakthrough. What’s more, a report in September indicated Lacazette has no desire to pen fresh terms anyway.

Lacazette will therefore leave as a free agent in the summer – unless a cut-price January sale is sanctioned first.

West Ham have been credited with interest, while AC Milan and Atletico Madrid are also believed to be in the mix. In any case, it’s looking increasingly likely Mikel Arteta will soon be in need of an addition to his forward line.

Reports over the weekend saw Arsenal linked with Andrea Belotti and veteran Israeli Eran Zahavi.

However, technical director Edu reportedly prefers to sign a Premier League based player. To that end, the Arsenal guru was said to fancy one of a big-money raid for Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa.

Deals for either would cost in excess of £50m.

However, pundit Darren Bent insists there is a better options out there and he claims Bees striker Toney would be perfect.

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Arsenal are reportedly interested in Everton and England forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with more updates on Valencia winger Goncalo Guedes and Lille striker Jonathan David.

“Could they lure him away from Brentford? Well, of course,” Bent said on talkSPORT, as cited by Football.London. “Yes (he would be a good fit for Arsenal). It’s early days.

“But what he has shown so far at Brentford, he is the real deal. That’s not just in terms of his goal return, just the way he is bullying people. He never shies away from a challenge.

“I think he is definitely destined for big things.”

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Toney gave Van Dijk a torrid time

Toney carries a £25m valuation as per Transfermarkt, though that valuation is likely to increase if he maintains his impressive form.

Toney’s best display perhaps came last month when he ‘bullied’ Virgil van Dijk and the rest of the Liverpool defence.

As such, another former Villa man, Gabriel Agbonlahor, insists the Bees striker is the real deal.

Ivan Toney, Brentford striker in pre-season action at Plough Lane

“Ivan Toney looks like with every Premier League game he plays he’s going to get better,” Agbonlahor said.

“Watching him last season, it’s like every game he played he got better. Today, he’s winning every header, he’s working hard for the team.

“I mean we talk about Van Dijk being back and Liverpool are so good now defensively. However, Toney made him look like he’s playing in second gear.

“Toney bullied the whole of that Liverpool defence, [Bryan] Mbeumo as well, he was outstanding.”

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