Premier League English

£60m striker spurned after one meeting as Arteta ‘didn’t want him around’

Mikel Arteta has U-turned on his intention of signing Ivan Toney after meeting with him, despite the Gunners having been hunting for a quality striker for a while now.

An insider has suggested that Arsenal’s interest in Ivan Toney has apparently come to an abrupt end upon meeting the striker as they found his personality objectionable, one they ‘didn’t want around’ and ‘purely didn’t like him’.

The Gunners wrapped up in second place in the Premier League in the past two seasons, and in neither of those has a central striker scored the most goals.

The main burden of responsibility had fallen on Bukayo Saka to pull his weight for the past two campaigns, with midfielder Martin Odegaard also regularly playing his part, but obviously the presence of a deadly goalscorer would have been most handy, if not ideal, to expedite the final push for the title to be finally achievable.

The last few months had seen a number of big names having been linked throughout – with Viktor Gyokeres, Victor Osimhen, Benjamin Sesko and Toney among them.

It had appeared at one stage as if Arsenal had dropped back from Toney a while back, but with Sesko finally deciding to pen new terms with RB Leipzig, they reactivated their interest in the Brentford striker. But now while it seems interest is only on one side as Gunners boss Mikel Arteta no longer shares that sentiment.

To that end, insider Teamnewsandtix has suggested that the manager simply was not enamored of Toney’s personality after meeting with him, and would not pursue a deal based on that.

“They don’t like him. They met him and didn’t like him,” the insider said on Charles Watts’ YouTube channel.

“When he signed with his agency in August last year, they said ‘what do you want,’ he said ‘get back playing, get back in the England squad and move to a big club, preferably Arsenal’.

“He saw himself fitting in as the No.9, he thought he would get tons of goals and he thought he’d suit the system. They met him and they purely didn’t like him.

“With Toney, there’s just stacks of evidence of a personality that you’d imagine Arteta didn’t want around the squad.”

Suffice it to say that it will obviously be a blow for Toney to be unable to move to a side he seemingly would have enjoyed playing for, although he is not short of suitors in the Premier League, with Manchester United and Tottenham showing keen interest as well.

As for the Gunners, it also does seem fair for Arteta to ditch a potential signing because he does not feel the personality would be a good fit in the dressing room.

And the hard-to-please Gunners boss is one that’s proven himself to be a great judge of character where some of his key players were concerned in the past.