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Opinion

Ivan Toney – Very few Newcastle United fans would bet against it…

4 months ago
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There seems to be a grim inevitability that former Newcastle United player, Ivan Toney, will come back to haunt us in our League Cup quarter final against Brentford.

The 24 year old has been in fine form since joining the London club in the summer transfer window, bagging 16 goals in just 20 appearances.

So what happened during his time at Newcastle United and how has he bounced back to become one of the most prolific strikers in the Football League?

Toney signed for the club during the ill-fated reign of Steve McClaren. Just 19 years old at the time, Toney had impressed at Northampton Town, scoring 13 goals in 60 appearances and he was considered a real investment for the future.

However, despite his potential he was very raw, and probably rightly wasn’t considered first team material at that time. After four brief appearances in 2015-16, it was vital for his development that he experienced regular first team football.

A series of loan spells followed, with Toney playing for Barnsley, Shrewsbury Town, Scunthorpe United (twice) and Wigan Athletic. These moves saw him rack up over a century of appearances, score 30 goals and collect winners medals in the Football League Trophy and League One play-offs with Barnsley and win the League One title with Wigan.

By the summer of 2018 though, it was becoming obvious that Ivan Toney was unlikely to feature in the first team picture at St James’ Park and that it was time to seek a permanent move, and he signed for Peterborough United for a fee in the region of £650,000.

Finally having a permanent home after living a nomadic existence over the previous three seasons, Toney thrived at The Posh under the management of Steve Evans and then Darren Ferguson.

In his first season at the club he scored 23 goals in 55 games while also contributing eight assists. He was even better in 2019-20, scoring 26 goals in just 39 games and claiming another seven assists. This form saw him named EFL League One Player of the Year.

His goalscoring exploits earned him a move to Brentford who had just missed out on promotion to the Premier League and were looking for a replacement for the prolific Ollie Watkins who had been sold to Aston Villa.

Unproven at Championship level, the gamble has more than paid off, with his form starting to attract admiring glances from Premier League suitors.

A goal against his old club would undoubtedly help his chances and continue to raise his profile further. Given the propensity for former players to come back and haunt us, few Newcastle fans would bet against it.

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