England new boy makes Newcastle United admission as international debut looms

The striker endured a frustrating time on Tyneside earlier in his career.

Ivan Toney has revealed a determination to prove Newcastle United wrong has fuelled his dramatic rise into the England squad.

The Brentford striker was seen as a highly-rated prospect when he arrived at St James Park in a reported £325,000 deal from Northampton Town in the summer of 2015.

The youngster made his Magpies debut just weeks later when he replaced Massadio Haidara in a Capital One Cup win over his former club and made his Premier League bow as a late substitute in a 2-2 draw against Chelsea in late-September.

A five-minute run-out as a substitute in the dramatic 3-3 draw with Manchester United in December of the same year proved to be his final appearance in the senior setup at St James Park as Toney embarked on a number of loan moves in an attempt to impress the Magpies hierachy.

Temporary stints with Barnsley, Shrewsbury Town, Wigan Athletic and Scunthorpe United returned varying levels of success - but Toney still remained an onlooker when it came to first-team action on Tyneside.

Ties were officially cut when Rafa Benitez authorised a £350,000 deal to sell Toney to Peterborough United - and it was The Posh that would provide the launchpad to his journey into the Premier League and international recognition.

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After scoring 49 goals in 94 appearances for the London Road club, Toney sealed a £5million move to Premier League-bound Brentford, helping the Bees return to the top flight for the first time since the mid-1940s with a 31-goal haul in their promotion-winning campaign in 2021.

Toney has taken to life in the Premier League with 17 goals and 7 assists in 40 appearances and earned his maiden England call-up last week.

A first cap could be awarded when Gareth Southgate’s side face Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany over the next week - and as he prepares for his international bow, Toney revealed Newcastle unwittingly provided the motivation for his progress to the top level of the game.

“I would say leaving Newcastle when I went to Peterborough, that was an eye-opener,” he explained.

“That was like ‘right, I have to turn my game around to get back up, I might see myself as a Premier League player, but I am a League One player now, I have got to keep fighting and working hard’ - and I certainly did that.

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“That was a factor that did come into play, (to prove Newcastle wrong). I felt like: ‘you got rid of me. I am going to show you what I am capable of when I get the chance, whether it is a Premier League side or a League One side.”

Toney revealed he understood Newcastle’s decision to let him go on a permanent basis as he struggled to make an impact during his fleeting appearances in the senior setup at St James Park.

The striker did net five times in nine appearances for the Magpies Under-21s as he featured alongside the likes of Dan Barlaser and Sean Longstaff in United’s second string.

Despite impressing, further senior call-ups failed to arrive, and his eventual departure brought further lessons for Northampton-born frontman.

He said: “When I left Newcastle and went to Peterborough, I wasn’t straight in the team so I had to work much harder. It was about being patient and when your chance comes to take it with both hands. I certainly did that.

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“Looking back if I was a Newcastle owner or manager looking back at a 20-year-old Ivan Toney, would I have taken him? Probably not.

“They have done what they had to do. They felt I wasn’t good enough, so it was up to me to pick myself up and go again.”