Arsenal eye teen Toney alternative, Edu's scouts say he's a "huge talent"

Arsenal eye teen Toney alternative, Edu’s scouts say he’s a “huge talent”

With Arsenal’s need for a centre forward well documented, it appears that Edu Gaspar has now turned away from previous targets and is interested in one of Europe’s most promising strikers.

Arsenal’s search for a striker

Don’t let the eighteen goals in their last four Premier League games fool you, Arsenal are still in dire need of a number nine. This season has seen Mikel Arteta opt to play without a traditional centre forward for much of the campaign, relying on goals to come from his wingers.

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Whilst Bukayo Saka’s thirteen league goals are impressive and Kai Havertz, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard have all chipped in, it still feels that the Gunners are missing the leading man to take them to the next level. Players initially signed to fulfill these duties have not gone to plan with Gabriel Jesus struggling with injury and the aforementioned Havertz adopting a deeper role.

Despite the clear need for a striker, Arteta made it clear such a move was not possible this January, telling beIN Sports that: “At the moment it doesn’t look realistic. My job is to improve the players we have.”

Whilst the Gunners’ boss declines any interest in a new number nine, it hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from turning. A strong return following his ban has seen Ivan Toney’s name back in contention for the vacancy however, reports now suggest that Arsenal have an interest in a teenage talent who could be a better alternative to the Brentford man.

Edu eyes exciting Toney alternative

According to Football Insider, sources within the club have said that Brighton forward Evan Ferguson is on Arsenal’s radar with Edu’s talent spotters at the Emirates regarding him as a “huge talent” who will go on to become a world beater.

Making his debut for Brighton in early 2022, the 19-year-old has had a rapid rise on the South coast, scoring 12 Premier League goals in just 44 appearances. The most impressive of this catalogue was the Irishman’s hat-trick against Newcastle that saw Ferguson tipped to go all the way by his current boss Roberto De Zerbi:

“He can become big, big, big. His qualities are enough to become a great player. He can become one of the best, the top scorer in Europe. He was born in 2004, he’s 18. I don’t know how many players are young, that score like him.”

Eight years the junior of Toney, Ferguson would offer the kind of player better suited to the project Edu and Arteta are building in North London. Boasting the third-youngest squad in the league, it would be within their interests to go for the younger option.

Whilst Toney would deliver the short-term impact needed to deliver immediate success, a club as process driven as Arsenal would see the benefits that Ferguson would bring in the long run. Giving one of Europe’s most promising talents the chance to develop would prove far more beneficial overall than signing a proven goalscorer who may have only a few seasons left in the tank.

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