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Newcastle: Imagine Ivan Toney in Eddie Howe’s team

Newcastle United smashed their club-record transfer fee by signing Sweden international Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad in the summer.

Dan Ashworth decided to swoop for the La Liga centre-forward and splashed out a reported fee of £59m to bring him to St. James’ Park to bolster Eddie Howe’s squad.

The former Borussia Dortmund attacker has enjoyed a solid start to life in England with two goals in his first three Premier League appearances, with his strike against Bournemouth coming from the penalty spot.

However, the Magpies may not have needed to splash the cash on Isak if things had gone differently for Ivan Toney on Tyneside, following his move to the club from Northampton in 2015.

He joined the Toon Army as a 19-year-old during Steve McClaren’s tenure and penned a long-term contract ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.

The youngster made four senior appearances throughout the season, including two in the Premier League, but failed to get off the mark in front of goal, although he did produce five goals and three assists in nine outings for the U21s.

Newcastle then sent him out on loan in four different windows before selling him to Peterborough, who were in League One at the time, in the summer of 2018.

In his two seasons in East Anglia, Toney plundered an eye-catching 40 goals and 13 assists in 76 third-tier appearances and his form earned him a move to Championship side Brentford.

Thomas Frank got him firing in the second tier as he scored a phenomenal 33 goals and assisted ten in 48 matches, including the play-offs, to help the Bees secure promotion to the Premier League.

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Toney, who Journalist Rob Blanchette recently described as “underrated“, has since proven that he has the quality to score goals at the top level of English football as he has found the back of the net 17 times in 40 league matches for Brentford, whilst also providing seven assists.

He would be a dream for Howe at Newcastle in 2022 as he is a lethal goalscorer, a creator for his teammate, and works hard defensively for his team.

The Magpies’ head coach wants his team to press teams high up the pitch and the England international would suit that style as he ranks in the 92nd percentile among players in his position over the last 365 days in Europe’s top five leagues for interceptions per 90 with 0.75.

This suggests that he is adept at cutting out opposition passes and this could allow him to thrive in a high-pressing team as he could create counter-attacking opportunities by winning the ball in the final third, whilst his record in terms of goals and assists indicates that he has the quality to make the most of those chances.

Therefore, the striker, who Frank claimed has the “mindset of a lion“, would be a dream striker for Howe at St. James’ Park and it is a shame that things did not work out for him on Tyneside.

Article title: Newcastle: Imagine Ivan Toney in Eddie Howe’s team

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