Rafa Benitez is set to take a careful look at his squad in the coming days and weeks, sorting out who he sees fitting into his squad when the Championship kicks off in 36 days time.
With goals a massive priority, the manager’s options up front are set to be crucial to Newcastle’s chances of instant promotion.
Confirmation of Dwight Gayle’s transfer is set to be announced shortly but who else will Rafa be counting on?
The other options at the minute appear to be Aleksandar Mitrovic, Papiss Cisse, Emmanuel Riviere, Adam Armstrong and Ivan Toney.
Whilst I have a feeling Rafa Benitez would take any realistic offer for the first three names, especially Cisse & Riviere, it is a different scenario with the two younger players.
Both has successful loan spells last season, Armstrong hitting a magnificent 20 goals for Coventry, whilst also in League One – Ivan Toney enjoyed two Wembley appearances as he helped Barnsley get promotion to the Championship and win the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy.
The question is whether Rafa sees either or both of Armstrong and Toney being able to step up and be part of Newcastle’s Championship squad.
Coventry have already stated that they would love to get Adam Armstrong back on loan once again, whilst now Ivan Toney looks to have an interesting offer heading his way.
Toney left Northampton Town last summer and they had a great season, Champions of League Two with 99 points, 13 ahead of the runners-up.
Manager Chris Wilder was snapped up by Sheffield United and now Rob Page has been recruited by the Cobblers.
Page says that Ivan Toney would be a ‘natural one’ for Northampton to take on loan and describes him as ‘a fantastic talent’.
Rob Page says that the Newcastle striker is just one player that ‘tickle our fancy’ but having now named him as a striker they are interested in, it would appear to be a perfect fit if Rafa Benitez decides Ivan Toney should go out on loan for regular football.
The striker has been posting videos on social media showing him training hard with a former Northampton team-mate and a personal trainer even in the close season, with the intention of impressing Rafa Benitez when pre-season begins.
Hard work can often go a long way, so good luck to the player is he can do enough to convince Rafa he is up to the job:
Rob Page speaking to the Northampton Chronicle:
“I think that (Ivan Toney) is a natural one, as he has been part of the football club and gone on to bigger things.
“We have watched his career, and I certainly know about him from last season from his time at Barnsley, and it is an obvious name to mention.
“He is a fantastic talent, but I think he is one of two or three that are out there that tickle our fancy at the minute.
“We have to make sure we get the right person in, whether that’s Ivan Toney or somebody else, as long as the player is coming in to benefit this football club, that’s the aim.”