Arsenal told Ivan Toney they 'would do better' than Ollie Watkins for former Premier League striker


Arsenal should turn to Ivan Toney instead of Ollie Watkins to bolster their attack, according to a former Premier League striker.

The Gunners have been long-time admirers of the Brentford star who returned to action in January after a long suspension for breaching betting rules.


Ivan Toney shows no signs of rust despite missing half of Premier League season through suspensionCredit: Getty

In Toney's absence, Aston Villa Striker Watkins scored a magnificent goal that gave Unai Emery's team qualification for the Champions League.

Both players are vying to be named in Gareth Southgate's final 26-man squad for the Euros.

While Toney has had far less playing time than Watkins this season, the Brentford striker arguably has the advantage over Watkins thanks to a string of impressive performances at international level.

Beyond the call of duty for the Three Lions, both players have been linked with a summer switch As the Gunners look to find the missing piece that will help them end their 20-year wait for a Premier League title.

Choosing between the England duo presents a difficult decision for some fans, but former Aston Villa striker and Arsenal fan Darren Bent believes Toney surpasses Watkins in one key attribute.

When asked to pick one to sign for the Gunners this summer, he said: “Toney.”

He explained: “When it comes to linking play, I think Toney is a little bit ahead, but in movement and pace, it's Watkins.

“When it comes to finishing, it's very close. But I think Toney suits Arsenal's way of playing better.”

Bent praised Watkins' excellent season at Villa Park, which saw him announce himself on the European stage during his team's run to the Europa Conference League semi-finals.

Watkins failed to impress for England against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday but remains in the hunt for the European Championship.


Watkins failed to impress for England against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday but remains in the hunt for the European Championship.

With question marks over how many forwards Southgate will include in his Euro squad, Bent believes Watkins is more deserving of his seat on the plane than Toney, who only featured for the final four months of the season.

“Just his form with Aston Villa in the Premier League – 19 goals, 13 assists – is absolutely crazy. “He has been exceptional,” Bent said of the Aston Villa star.

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“Yes, he has had a better season than Ivan Toney who has had a long period of absence. But of the two, I think Watkins is the one who deserves to go (to the European Championship) the most because of the goals and the season he has had.”

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