Jeremie Aliadiere: I’d be very happy to see Toney at Arsenal
Former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere believes that the Gunners should target Brentford man Ivan Toney this summer.
Mikel Arteta‘s side are guaranteed to be playing Champions League football next season and they are going to require a bigger squad if they want to fight on all fronts, domestically and in Europe.
Toney has scored 20 goals in the Premier League this season and has been linked with a move away from the West London club.
Aliadiere, who was a member of the Arsenal Invincibles squad, also shared his thoughts on Chelsea‘s campaign and Bukayo Saka.
Who Arsenal should sign?
If Arsenal are to topple Manchester City, Manchester United and a rejuvenated Liverpool next season, improvements to the squad will be needed in the midfield and forward areas.
With just Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah as centre forward options this season, Arsenal have relied heavily on goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka.
Aliadiere would love to see Toney join that group in the Summer.
“Every time I see Ivan Toney play, he impresses me. I think he would bring something that Arsenal haven’t got. He’s got a presence, he holds the ball up and he’s good in the air.
“He’s a player I’ve always liked and this season in particular he’s been fantastic. I’d be very happy to see him at Arsenal.”
Another man that has been heavily linked with a switch to North London, is West Ham captain Declan Rice.
The Frenchman thinks that the 24-year-old should choose Arsenal over Chelsea and Manchester United.
“I think Arsenal are a bigger prospect than Chelsea and Man Utd for Declan Rice, I think the Gunners have proved it this season.
“We have especially proved it in the way we play, it’s attractive for players. I’m sure he’d love to play that kind of football, driving forward and playing one, two-touch football.
“I think he will fit perfectly into the squad. I’m an Arsenal fan so I’m going to say that, but I think the way we play, every player would want to play in that team.”
The Arsenal winger is reportedly on the verge of signing a new contract at the club and he has been a vital part of the sides rise this season.
Saka has scored 13 goals and delivered 11 assists in the Premier League.
Aliadiere has been impressed with the England international and admires the way that he plays.
“At such a young age, Bukayo Saka is incredible. It looks like he’s playing like a 30-year-old. The way he controls it, he never rushes and he always seems to make the right decision.
“As a young player normally you have a lot to prove, but the way he does everything is just amazing. You see Saka and you think, how does he manage to always physically keep the ball? He’s not the strongest but he uses his body so well.
“You have all those defenders coming at him, you think he’s going to lose it but he holds onto it. I’m so impressed with him. He’s been our best player.”
During the Gunners last title winning campaign in 2004, Arsenal’s width was provided by Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg.
And Aliadiere has admitted that he would probably choose Saka over those two players, which proves just how exciting the 21-year-old is.
“It’s a tough one, but the way he’s playing I probably would pick Saka over Pires and Ljungberg.
“I thought Pires was absolutely fantastic, a good friend of mine, but what Saka has been doing this season has been incredible for his age.”
On Lionel Messi’s future
The Argentine superstar has been linked with a move away from Paris Saint Germain this week, after he missed training as he had travelled to Saudi Arabia.
The 40-year-old does not think that any club in the Premier League, should be making a move for the World Cup winner because of the demands of the English top-flight.
“Messi would not be a good signing for Chelsea or Newcastle, or for any club in the Premier League. I think the league is too demanding for Messi, as great as he is, he’s getting on now.
“We saw when Cristiano Ronaldo went back to Man Utd, physically he wasn’t the same so it’s harder.”
Chelsea’s struggles have been well documented this season with the new ownership of Todd Boehly coming under particular scrutiny.
They are rumoured to be close to announcing former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino as manager, but it has not been confirmed yet.
Aliadiere has argued that stability is needed within the club and they have too many players on their books.
“Chelsea don’t even have a manager for next season yet. They have way too many players, and have some players who look like they don’t want to be there. It’s a massive mess. Since Roman Abramovich left it’s been a shambles.
“Every club has that stage at some point, a transition. But I think buying and buying isn’t the answer. You look at their players and you don’t expect them to be in the bottom half of the Premier League.“
During the Frenchman’s playing days, he came up against the likes of John Terry, Ashley Cole and Didier Drogba when facing Chelsea.
But he believes that those types of players currently do not exist in the Stamford Bridge dressing room.
“It just shows you need stability, you need to recruit players who are hungry to play, understand the system and history of the club.
“Coming from abroad, you might be great but come to England and find it tough.”
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