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Garth Crooks says Chelsea could beat Arsenal to Toney deal

Brentford striker Ivan Toney
BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks has tipped Chelsea to beat Arsenal to the signing of Brentford striker Ivan Toney during this summer’s transfer window.

Toney recently returned to Premier League action for the Bees after an eight-month ban for breaching FA betting rules. He has had an immediate impact with 3 goals in just 4 league appearances, helping the club win 6 points in the process.

With his contract expiring in June 2025, Brentford are more likely to sell him this summer. Crooks believes Arsenal should have snapped Toney when he was suspended as the striker would have cost half of his current valuation.

He added that he won’t be least surprised if Chelsea beat their London rivals to the striker’s signature, he said in his BBC Sport column: “It would seem, with only one year left to run on Toney’s contract, Brentford will want to cash in.”

“Arsenal should have snapped him up the moment he had been suspended and he would have cost half of what he would cost now. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he ends up at Chelsea. They are desperately in need of a top striker.”

Proven striker

Toney netted 20 goals in the English top-flight last campaign before he was banned for 8 months. The striker has not looked rusty since his comeback and has already proved a point with 3 goals from just 4 Premier League games this season.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea will be desperate for a marquee striker this summer. The Gunners currently have Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in their ranks. Jesus has had some sublime moments, but he has been inconsistent and injury-prone.

Nketiah has not quite lived up to his potential. He is more likely to be sold if Arsenal were to sign an elite striker. Chelsea similarly need more firepower up front with Nicolas Jackson lacking the cutting edge to his game play in the box.

Crooks mentions that Chelsea could have the upper hand over Arsenal, but we don’t believe that would be the case. With Champions League football, Arsenal should be in the driver’s seat to land Toney ahead of their London counterparts.

The £80 million striker is more likely to prefer a move to Arsenal, who are challenging for the title rather than Chelsea, who are currently 10th in the table, having previously finished 12th last season. They are still in a transitional phase.

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