Arsenal transfer news: Celtic decided to sign West Ham striker over Ivan Toney

Stefan Bienkowski
Stefan Bienkowski Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST 2 min read
Arsenal transfer news: Celtic decided to sign West Ham striker over Ivan Toney

Celtic were on the cusp of signing striker Ivan Toney last year but instead opted to buy West Ham forward Albian Ajeti instead. 

According to the Daily Mail’s Stephen McGowan, the Scottish Premiership giants had enticed Toney all the way to Celtic Park to agree terms when he was still a relatively unknown quantity at Peterborough United. 

However, according to the journalist, the deal fell apart through one reason or another and the Scottish club ended up signing Ajeti from West Ham for around £5 million. 

Toney ended up making a move last year, instead signing for English Championship side Brenftord, where he has been nothing short of a revelation. 

Indeed, so far this season the 24-year-old striker has bagged no less than 24 goals and nine assists in just 31 games – a run of form that has seen the England striker being linked with Premier League clubs like Arsenal, Newcastle United and West Ham. 

In contrast, Ajeti has managed just six goals and four assists in 27 games for Celtic this season and undoubtedly looked like the poorer option out of the two. 

A worrying comparison for Celtic fans, when they consider just how close they came to signing the now Arsenal transfer target. 

“The one that sums it up best is Ivan Toney, who they had in Glasgow, actually in the building – who wanted to sign for Celtic and they could have got for £6 million,” said McGowan on The Press Box podcast. 

“For whatever reason, probably financial, they decided not to commit and signed Ajeti.”

Whether Toney would have done as well at Celtic as he has done at Brentford is a valid question, considering the Scottish champions already had a star striker in Odsonne Edouard – a talent that has also been linked with Arsenal in previous transfer windows. 

However, there’s no doubt that the Scottish club may look at Toney’s goalscoring form this season and the clubs he has since been linked to and feel a certain degree of regret. 

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