Arsenal

Theo Walcott says Arsenal transfer target is ‘similar to Giroud’ in Arteta warning

Former Arsenal star Theo Walcott has now fired Mikel Arteta a warning over a potential pursuit for Ivan Toney.

Toney has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates in the January transfer window, as Arsenal weigh up a move for a striker to add more goals to their squad, but it remains to be seen whether a deal would be financially viable.
Arsenal are not short of options at centre-forward, but Eddie Nketiah has been linked with a move away, and it seems that a departure for the Englishman would be necessary to fund a deal for Toney.

Theo Walcott fires Arsenal warning over Ivan Toney

Speaking on Sky Sports after Arsenal’s draw with Liverpool, Walcott compared Toney to his former teammate Olivier Giroud, but also hinted that the striker’s lack of action in recent months may mean he comes with a risk.

“I just feel like Mikel (Arteta) will deep down know what he needs, but we don’t want to dwell on it,” Walcott stated.
I would be cautious of [Toney] because he hasn’t played. He’s a forward that is similar to Olivier Giroud which Arsenal used to have, which I was a big fan of.”

Toney has not played since last season, as he served a ban from football which is set to end in January.

Is Ivan Toney similar to Olivier Giroud?
Giroud was a solid striker for Arsenal between 2012 and 2018, scoring 105 times in 253 appearances, whilst also providing 41 assists and winning three FA Cups.

The Frenchman was also useful for his aerial ability, and his tendency to hold up the ball and link play with his teammates.

Whilst Toney is shorter than the former Arsenal striker, standing at 1.85m compared to Giroud’s 1.92m, he ranks highly amongst his peers for aerial duels, and often terrorises opposition defenders in the air.

There are certainly similarities between the two players, but Walcott’s warning about Toney’s lack of action is a key point. Having not played for a significant period, it could take the striker some time to adapt to Mikel Arteta’s system, and David Raya has shown that the step up from Brentford to Arsenal is not an easy one.

Given the potential finances involved in a January deal, and the risk that Toney would not hit the ground running, it might be a deal best avoided for Arteta in the winter window.

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