Arteta identifies four ‘ideal’ signings to ‘complete’ Arsenal as ‘hesitation’ over £80m target emerges

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal manager Arteta
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

According to reports, head coach Mikel Arteta thinks “four” signings would “complete” Arsenal but they “can’t” go for all of them in January.

The Gunners are second in the 2023 Premier League net spend table after they splashed out over £200m on new signings in the summer.

A club-record fee of £105m was spent to sign Declan Rice from West Ham, but they also brought in Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and David Raya in the summer.

After missing out on the Premier League title last season, Arsenal currently a single point adrift of league leaders Liverpool and the top two face each other at Anfield on December 23.

Arsenal are likely to strengthen further in January as they attempt to boost their chances of winning the Premier League and they are being linked with several strikers as Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah are not firing in front of goal.

Brentford’s Ivan Toney – who is reportedly valued at £80m – has been heavily linked with the Gunners and he is set to return from his betting ban in January after he scored 20 Premier League goals last season.

Despite this, The Independent’s Miguel Delaney claims Arteta‘s side are “hesitant” about Toney, but their manager “needs four signings to complete his ideal squad”.

“There are four signings Mikel Arteta feels he needs to complete his ideal squad as it stands,” Delaney noted via his Reading the Game newsletter.

“They are another central midfielder, two full-backs and another forward. Arsenal obviously can’t go for all four in January so some compromises may be necessary.

“They will be active, though. Ivan Toney is obviously a name mentioned, with a lot of potential competitors, but there is some hesitation over whether his months of suspension mean he isn’t quite ideal if you want an immediate impact.”

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Pundit Ally McCoist recently argued that Toney “would elevate” Arsenal as Jesus is too “clever”.

“I watched Gabriel Jesus at Luton and he’s a player there’s no doubt about it,” McCoist said. “I just think they need somebody – whether it’s Ivan Toney… I definitely think Ivan Toney would elevate them. There’s no doubt about that in my opinion. Definitely.

“I actually think if Nketiah got a run he might score more goals than Jesus. I’m not saying he’s a better player than Jesus as I don’t necessarily think he is but he might nick more goals. But I think somebody like Toney would potentially make a difference.”

McCoist added: “They’ve got Odegaard, different class, Havertz is a very clever player, Saka’s a very clever player. I’m not sure they need another clever player as a centre-forward.

“For example, Haaland is the best in the business at this moment in time. I’m not doing him a disservice by saying he’s not a clever player, of course he is, but all he wants to do is score goals. And I think they could do with somebody like that rather than another nice, clever player.”