Arsenal

Arsenal told to sell £40m star to help fund ‘ruthless’ move for Ivan Toney by former Gunners striker

Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has argued that the Gunners should allow winger Emile Smith Rowe to leave to bring in funds for a January move for Brentford star Ivan Toney.

Campbell admitted “you don’t want to see” young players who have come through Arsenal’s academy go, but declared “if you are going for a title you have to be ruthless.”

Arsenal have been linked with signing Brentford striker Toney ahead of the January transfer window, given they lack an elite and prolific goalscorer.

Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah are Arsenal’s joint-leading scorers in the Premier League this season, having each found the net five times in 17 appearances, while attacking midfielders Martin Odegaard and Kai Havertz have each scored four times.

First choice striker Gabriel Jesus has scored just three goals in 13 league games, while left winger Gabriel Martinelli has netted only twice in 16.

Toney, who is yet to play this season due to his ban for betting, scored 20 goals in 33 Premier League appearances during an outstanding campaign for Brentford last season.

The 27-year-old England international will be available to play again from January 16 and is reportedly valued at £100m by his club, who are determined not to sell him in January.

READ MORE: Toney tops ranking of Arsenal January striker targets by how much they could overpay

Smith Rowe has made 10 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions this season, but only five of these have come in the Premier League and he has started just twice.

Linked with a £40m exit in the summer, the 23-year-old academy graduate missed nine games through injury in November and into the start of December, but has played just four minutes in regulation time since his return.

Speaking on talkSPORT, Campbell suggested that selling Smith Rowe next month could be worthwhile given the winger’s lack of action.

“Smith Rowe isn’t getting a sniff is he? They could use that as a vehicle to get under the financial fair play situation,” the 53-year-old said.

“There are some tradeable pieces. You don’t want to see the Smith Rowes leave the club, a young player coming through the ranks, but if you are going for a title you have to be ruthless.

“If you can move and shake a couple of players and then create an opportunity to get someone like Toney – that’s what you have got to do.”

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