- 6 December
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Arsenal's striker search could spell the end for three Hale End stars
Arsenal are in the market for a new striker, with Ivan Toney and Santiago Gimenez top of their shortlist, but the asking price for the former in particular could spell the end for three academy graduates.
Arsenal were busy in the summer transfer market, signing Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber from West Ham, Chelsea and Ajax respectively before acquiring Brentford goalkeeper David Raya on loan.
None of the aforementioned are classic No.9s, though - even if Havertz is sometimes posted in the position - and Mikel Arteta wants a natural striker to give him another option in the final third.
"Arsenal are likely to have to pay up to £80 million for Ivan Toney as they assess their attacking options in the January transfer market," reports The Times' Gary Jacob. "Arsenal have also scouted Santiago Gimenez, the 22-year-old who has scored nine goals in six Eredivisie games for Feyenoord this season."
You are Ivan Toney. Who do you join in January? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/wuGpfzv2Bn
— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) September 22, 2023
'Obvious candidates' for sale
Toney's asking price in particular - Gimenez's is understood to be around €50m (£43.3m) - could prove prohibitively expensive, and the reports states that Hale End graduates Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson are "the obvious candidates" to be sold to raise funds.
Smith Rowe made his first Arsenal start for 499 days as they beat Brentford 1-0 in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, while Nketiah assisted Nelson for the game's only goal, but all three find themselves as fringe players this season.
Nketiah may himself be a No.9, but with an ETV of €33.6m (£29.1m) per FootballTransfers' in-house algorithm, Arsenal might see funds raised as more valuable than his potential contribution going forward. Smith Rowe and Nelson have highest ETVs of €39.8m (£34.5m) and €12.7m (£11m) respectively.
Arsenal sold another striker and Hale End academy graduate Folarin Balogun to Monaco for €30m (26m) this summer, showing they are willing to cash in on promising players and able to extract maximum value.