Brentford star Ivan Toney fell into ‘wrong crowd’ at Newcastle United during ‘crazy’ years of spending
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Bretford star Ivan Toney has spoken about falling into the 'wrong crowd' while trying to catch his Premier League break at Newcastle United.
The striker joined the Magpies from Northampton Town in 2015 for a meagre fee of £250,000 and was eager to make his mark on the top flight having made the leap from League Two. It never really worked out for Toney on Tyneside as the star made just four appearances for the club over a three-year spell which included loans to Barnsley, Shrewsbury Town, Scunthorpe United and Wigan Athletic.
The Englishman's Premier League breakthrough would have to wait until 2021 when he secured promotion with Brentford and the 27-year-old is now regarded as one of the league's most prolific strikers with 32 goals across his first two seasons.
The latest chapter in Toney's story is one of controversy as he serves an eight-month ban from the sport having made 232 breaches of the Football Association's betting rules. The star opened up about that and his rise to fame to Steven Bartlett on The Diary of a CEO podcast.
Speaking about his move to St James' Park in 2015, Toney said: "Going from League Two to the Premier League is crazy. At Northampton, you get recognised but it's not crazy, then going to Newcastle - I'm in the hotel and everybody is recognising me straight away, there's a crowd outside the hotel waiting to see me.
"At 18, it was all happening so fast. It's crazy, you want to tell everybody. My head was all over the place, thinking I'm going to the Premier League.
"When you take that step you get more money and you do silly things. You get mixed in the wrong crowd, going out, buying things you wouldn't normally buy. Being a bit naive. Being away from my family, even though they kept on telling me not to do anything silly, they weren't there to control what I had hold of. I could spend it on this and that. You do things you'd never normally do, we'd be getting personal shoppers to come to the house."
Toney went on to share his admiration for the Magpies, saying that Newcastle United are a 'great club'. He theorised that the club's relegation scraps at the time under Rafael Benitez also made it harder for the boss to take a gamble and give the young striker a chance.
Eventually, Toney was sold to League One outfit Peterborough United in 2018. The player said: "It was a knockback but maybe a knockback I needed at the time. I remember sitting down with my dad and my agent, we wanted the honest truth.
"No matter if they [NUFC] say 'we don't want him, he's not good enough', I'd rather my agent tell me that but however my relationship was with my agent at the time, he would sugarcoat things. Me and my dad had to get it out of him. His words were, 'the club don't think you're good enough at this moment in time'."