Arsenal would win the Premier League if they sign Brentford striker Ivan Toney, according to Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony.
Toney is currently banned from playing football until January but was still subject to a lot of interest in the summer transfer window with clubs planning for the future. Arsenal were among the clubs touted to have an interest in the Englishman, needing a recognised striker as one of the missing pieces of their puzzle.
Last season, the Gunners’ top scorers in the Premier League were Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard on 15 goals, with Bukayo Saka just one behind on 14. For recognised strikers, however, Gabriel Jesus was on 11 and Eddie Nketiah netted four, though the latter did play only 1,070 minutes.
By contrast, Toney scored 20 goals with only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane netting more, and he had missed the final three games of the season through suspension.
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This season Nketiah is Arsenal’s top scorer in the Premier League on five goals, but three of those came in a hat-trick against Sheffield United, which ended a six-game drought — five of which he started. One behind Nketiah is Saka with four goals, while Odegaard has three.
Kai Havertz was signed to try and help spread the goals in the Arsenal team and perhaps lead their line as a False No.9, but the German has only netted once from the penalty spot in the 4-0 win over Bournemouth.
It hasn’t affected Arsenal too badly, as they only lost for the first time in the Premier League at the weekend, beaten 1-0 by Newcastle in controversial fashion. The defeat was the first time Arsenal had failed to score in all competitions this season and the first time they hadn’t found the net in the Premier League since a goalless draw with Newcastle in January.
The defeat also leaves Arsenal fourth, three points behind leaders Manchester City at the time of writing, with the Gunners having the worst scoring record in the top four. Only three teams in the top half have also scored fewer goals per game in the league than Arsenal.
And according to Peterborough owner MacAnthony, Toney would make the difference for Arsenal in the title race. Although Toney has made a name for himself in recent years as Brentford’s main goalscoring threat, the Englishman was a fiend in front of goal for two years at Peterborough.
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He scored 49 goals in 94 games for Posh across all competitions including 40 in 76 in League One, finishing top scorer in 2019/20 with 24 goals, earning him his move to Brentford.
“Will he go in January? I don’t know. Probably in the summer but it would be nice if he went for £100 million in January,” MacAnthony told talkSPORT.
“For me, the type of striker he is, when he’s in form anywhere from £70m to £85m, When you look at the market, he’s got the best years ahead of him and I think he’s a game-changer.
“They’ll [Brentford] probably try and do a contract with a release clause, you sign one of them and they’re happy, he’s happy, the agent is happy but at the end of the day Brentford are the shrewdest negotiators in the business.
“I don’t think they’ll lose sleep whether they sell him in January or the summer – it won’t affect the value. Harry Kane at 30 went for [£100m]. People say the market is over inflated, [Manchester] United paid for a striker (Rasmus Hojlund) with nearly a one in five goalscoring record. Ivan Toney will score you 25 Premier League goals every year will go for £25m more than that.
COMPARED: Ivan Toney vs. Gabriel Jesus vs. Eddie Nketiah per 90 during the 2022/23 Premier League season. 🕶 pic.twitter.com/6upzm8BUhQ
— Squawka (@Squawka) September 25, 2023
“Chelsea should have done that [signed Toney] in August. Chelsea should have bought him in August and they’d have a readymade striker that’s ready to go in January already in with the dressing room and manager.
“It’s made no difference to them so they could have done it, they had the money, they should have bought him in August.
“Arsenal, instead of Havertz, should have bought him in August. Again, Havertz isn’t going to make a difference to them winning the title, Ivan Toney guarantees the title and maybe they’re nearer to Manchester City.
“He will guarantee one of those two clubs a title in the next two years.”