Former Newcastle United striker Ivan Toney became the highest scorer in all of England’s top 4 divisions over the weekend, netting his 10th goal of the season in Peterborough’s 2-0 win over Lincoln.
Toney has got off to a flying start for his side this campaign, finding the back of the net 10 times in his opening 12 games. And considering he was involved in 31 goals for Peterborough last season (23 goals and 8 assists), it’s fair to say he’s hit some serious form since he left the club for £650,000 last summer.
He is playing in League One against the likes of Sunderland every week, but his goalscoring form has been hard to ignore, with finished like the one below begging the question – were we wrong to let him go so soon?
The club signed Ivan for an undisclosed fee from Northampton Town back in 2015, but the hitman barely featured for the Magpies. Most his time at Newcastle was spent in the reserves or out on loan to Football League sides, with him making just 2 league cameos and a solo appearance in the Carabao Cup before being shipped out to Peterborough on a permanent deal.
Toney is still only 23 and has been scoring at a very impressive rate since leaving the club. Whether or not he could replicate this at Premier League level is another question, but his form is hard to ignore.
Many players have had no issue scoring goals at whatever level they are competing at, think Jamie Vardy or Billy Sharp for example, so it would be wrong to write the lad off and say he would have no chance at all. Yes it’s a huge step up, but the current set of Newcastle forwards are hardly setting the world alight right now, making you wonder if the former youngster is someone we should have persevered with.
If Toney can continue this form he’ll no doubt attract interest from bigger clubs and could well earn a Championship move.
It’s easy to say in hindsight, but it did always seem like the club dismissed Toney too early in his career, never really giving him a chance to show what he could do at senior level. A season like this after losing Rondon and Perez (and having two injury-prone strikers in Gayle and Carroll), would have seen opportunities arise for the young striker, but Benitez clearly saw something at the time that told him he wasn’t ready.
One we let go too soon or a player who’s found his level?