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5 months ago

Arsenal told to complete ‘simple’ £100 million transfer after Fulham defeat

Arsenal have been told they must complete a ‘simple’ £100 million transfer this month after losing to Fulham.

The Gunners suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage, despite going ahead after five minutes through Bukayo Saka.

But a mixture of poor defending and a lack of prolifigency at the other end cost Mikel Arteta’s side, with pinball inside the area from a corner resulting in Bobby De Cordova-Reid scoring the winning goal for Fulham on 60 minutes.

The result leaves Arsenal two points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool – a gap that will stretch to five points if the Reds win their game in hand against Newcastle on New Year’s Day.

One major issue for Arteta will be the form of his centre forwards, with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah netting just eight goals between them this term.

According to CBS Sports, the Gunners have Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Bayer Leverkusen’s Victor Boniface and Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez on a three-player striker shortlist this month.

But Gunners legend Paul Merson has urged his former club to sign £100 million-rated Ivan Toney from Brentford instead.

Taking to X (Twitter), Merson exclaimed: “Arsenal have to go and get Toney, simple!

“It [the Premier League title race] is not over yet.”

Toney is currently banned from competitive football after breaching the FA’s betting rules, but that ban will expire on January 17.

Arsenal do not play another Premier League game until January 20, when they host Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium, meaning Toney would be available to play in that clash if he signs – although whether he would be deemed match fit is another question.

Credit: Getty
Credit: Getty

But amid reported concerns surrounding Financial Fair Play, Arteta has suggested that the Gunners may not do big business in January.

He told talkSPORT after the Fulham defeat: “What I want is the players that have taken us all this way in the half of the season, we continue to work with them. That’s it.”

One solution would be to sign Toney on a loan deal in January with the option of a mandatory future fee, although it is unclear whether Brentford would agree to that.

Another stumbling block is that one Premier League club cannot have two players on loan from the same club in the same season.

With David Raya currently on loan from the Bees, Arsenal would have to trigger their option to buy in January in order to complete any temporary deal for Toney, who netted 20 goals in 33 Premier League games last season before his ban.