‘Can’t hit a barn door’ – Pundit questions Arsenal pursuit of Osimhen

By on February 3, 2024

Victor Osimhen

Paul Merson has questioned Arsenal’s pursuit of Victor Osimhen as he believes his former club should focus on brining in a Premier League proven hitman instead.

Heading into the January transfer window, widespread reports suggested that Arsenal were in the market for a new striker. Osimhen and Ivan Toney were the two top class hitmen who were strongly linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium last month.

Osimhen has forged a reputation as one of the best strikers in the world following his exploits at Napoli where he fired them to the Serie A title last season after scoring 31 goals in 39 games.

Napoli quickly ruled out a January exit for their talisman but Arsenal are among the clubs who are expected to battle it out for his signature in the summer.

However, Paul Merson has given some transfer advice to his former club. The pundit said on Sky Sports that Arsenal should focus on signing a striker who is proven in the Premier League rather than take a risk on a player from abroad.

Barn door

Merson pointed out that there have been numerous strikers who’ve done well abroad but couldn’t ‘hit a barn door’ playing in England. And the former Gunner also suggested that Arsenal can’t afford to splash out on a player that will take six months to settle while competing against clubs like Man City and Liverpool.

“You bring him [Osimhen] in, and he takes five or six months to settle. The figures that Liverpool and Man City put up now if you start the season and lose three of your first five games, you are out of the title race,” Merson stated.

“These teams just keep winning and winning and winning. You have to bring someone in who you have seen in the league and know they can do it.

“How many players have we seen who have scored thousands of goals abroad and they come in this league and can’t hit a barn door?”

Merson didn’t name Toney here but the Sky Sports pundit has been vocal in the past that he feels Arsenal should sign the Brentford striker. Bees boss Thomas Frank, via the beIN Sports, revealed his joy at Toney staying last month, despite Merson trying to link his striker with Arsenal.

“Happy? Yes, but I was pretty sure, as I said from the beginning, that Ivan will stay with us, so I was not worried about that,” said Frank.

“In general, Brentford boss Frank praises Toney, Merson urges Arsenal to sign him, so in that situation, yes, (I am happy). At the end of the day, we decide if they leave or not.”

Toney returned to play on January 16th after being suspended from football for breaking betting rules and will see out the rest of the season with Brentford.

However, he is expected to leave in the summer and Arsenal could be among the clubs competing for his signature. Toney is one of the best strikers in the Premier League, having scored twice in his first two games back, so he would be an excellent signing for the Gunners.

We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming months….