Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, Keith Gillespie believes that selling Adam Armstrong and Ivan Toney are part of the reason why Newcastle are struggling in the Premier League at present.
The pair, who both came through the ranks at St James’ Park, made just 25 appearances between them for the Magpies, and were eventually sold following a number of loan spells in the EFL.
Since their respective departures, Armstrong has become one of the most feared strikers in the Championship, and is approaching 60 goals in a Blackburn shirt following his move from Newcastle back in 2018.
Meanwhile, Toney has worked his way through the leagues, and after two outstanding seasons in League One with Peterborough is now the top scorer in the Championship with Brentford.
They both left St James’ Park in the same window, when Newcastle had the likes of Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez at their disposal.
But whilst summer signing Callum Wilson has impressed since his arrival from Bournemouth, the likes of Dwight Gayle, Joelinton and Andy Carroll have continued to struggle on Tyneside.
And Gillespie believes that perhaps the duo weren’t given a fair crack at Newcastle. He told Football FanCast:
“He [Adam Armstrong] has scored a lot of goals. I was reading about him being linked with Newcastle again, which is ironic when you’re a club that get rid of him and then want to bring him back.
“When a player scores a lot of goals in the Championship, Premier League clubs are going to take notice. You only have to see last season with Ollie Watkins, he’s gone into that Aston Villa team and has been a regular all season and been fantastic.
“I’m sure there’s probably people looking at Toney at Brentford, another ex-Newcastle player. The top-two goalscorers in the league, and Newcastle have got rid of both of them. That shows why Newcastle are in the position they are.
“Armstrong is one that when he did have a few chances at Newcastle you could see the potential there, but he never got that consistent run and was farmed out on loan.”
Whether Newcastle end up staying in the Premier League or not this season, either one of Armstrong or Toney would be solid additions for the St James’ Park outfit this summer.
And whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing in football, perhaps they should have given the two academy graduates more of a chance to prove themselves before cashing in.