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Ex-England star advises Arsenal, Chelsea on choosing Osimhen or Toney

Posted : 13 December 2023

Former England international Paul Merson has recommended that both Arsenal and Chelsea pursue the signing of Brentford star Ivan Toney instead of Victor Osimhen in the upcoming January transfer window. Arsenal, in particular, are seeking to strengthen their squad with a new striker to enhance their Premier League title prospects, and Osimhen has been a notable link.

Despite Gabriel Jesus being Mikel Arteta's primary striker, injury and form issues prompt the search for a new goal-scorer. Chelsea, too, has struggled to find the back of the net this season and has been linked with Osimhen as a priority target in their quest for a striker.

While both clubs have been associated with the 2023 CAF Men's Player of the Year, Merson believes they should focus on signing Toney. In his column for Sky Sports, Merson expressed, "It might just be worth the risk. I feel Arsenal and Chelsea might need Toney if they are to do anything this season. The hardest job in football is to score goals. There just aren't many top-quality centre forwards around."

Concerning Osimhen, Merson cautioned about the potential risk, stating, "There is Victor Osimhen at Napoli. However, I feel that is a gamble because he would be coming into the hardest league in the world. How many times have we seen someone rip it up in another country only to struggle in the Premier League? We've seen it too many times."

Merson, who is set to return to action next month after serving a suspension for betting rule violations, acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding Toney's availability due to Bryan Mbuemo representing Brentford at AFCON. Additionally, Napoli's determination to retain Osimhen beyond January means Chelsea and Arsenal may need to wait until the summer for a potential signature.



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