Alan Shearer urges Newcastle United to make blockbuster move for £70m Arsenal target

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Alan Shearer is hoping to see the signing of a third striker in January.

Newcastle United’s all-time leading goalscorer Alan Shearer has described his ideal transfer target in January as the club aim to bounce back from their Champions League elimination.

Shearer, who briefly managed the North East giants for eight games at the end of the 2008/09 season, was speaking with ex-England internationals Gary Lineker and Micah Richards on The Rest is Football podcast. 

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The former England international assessed the areas that the club would need to improve to progress in the league and claimed that a third striker would hugely benefit the team’s chances of competing on all fronts.

The striker he identified as the perfect target was a familiar face to the St James’ Park faithful in ex-Toon forward Ivan Toney. Toney spent three years of his professional career in the North East, he was signed from Northampton in the summer of 2015 but failed to make an impact on Tyneside and was limited to a just two cameo appearances in the league under Steve McClaren.

The one-time England international spent the majority of his time at Newcastle out on loan at the likes of Barnsley, Shrewsbury Town, Scunthorpe United (twice) and Wigan Athletic. The 27-year-old departed after three years in a move which changed the course of his career as he exploded into life in League One at Peterborough - scoring a combined 40 league goals across two seasons for the club. 

Toney’s prolific goal scoring form quickly caught the attention of Brentford, who tempted him to join the club ahead of Rangers, according to an interview in the Diary of the Ceo podcast. The striker has since established himself as a Bees icon - scoring 63 goals in 111 league appearances, whilst guiding the London side to the Premier League for the first time in their history.

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Toney impressed in his debut season in the top-flight as he scored 12 goals in 33 appearances but his performances on the pitch were elevated to a new level last term as he hit 20 goals in 33 appearances.

The clinical forward has ambitions of playing for England this summer. However, his chances have suffered in recent months due to a lengthy period on the sidelines as a result of a betting suspension which ends in January 2024. Despite his off-field offences, Shearer believes now is the time to re-sign the striker as the club look to qualify for the Champions League once again.

Shearer said: “I think he’s a really good player and I think he’s a really good option. Newcastle need to improve in that department, and they need another option in there, so I don’t think there will be any shortage of suitors for Ivan Toney.”

Newcastle’s current strike force features club-record signing Alexander Isak and last season’s top scorer Callum Wilson. The club are currently lacking a third striker and at times have been forced to play Anthony Gordon out of position to cover for injury issues.

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However, Newcastle are likely to face stiff competition for Toney in the January window.  One of the main threats is likely to be Arsenal, who are only a clinical centre forward away from winning the league, according to fellow pundit Ian Wright. Chelsea could also emerge as contenders to sign the striker after yet another lacklustre start to the season.

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