Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony believes Newcastle made a big mistake selling Ivan Toney – the man believed to be League One’s best player after 49 goals in two seasons.
That said, it looks like the former Mag – who was sold for £650,000 in 2018 – will be on the move this summer, with MacAnthony revealing how he’s promised to cash in on the 24-year-old now the vote to end the League One season early has seen them miss out on promotion back to the Championship.
Here’s what the Peterborough owner has had to say, accepting he’ll most likely end up at a ‘top’ Championship side or ‘bottom-half’ Premier League club this summer:
“He’s different to a lot of Posh strikers, usually we have strikers with a lot of pace, but he’s got both, he’s got pace and physicality,”
“He’s been on loan to a lot of clubs, Newcastle should probably have never sold him to us but we spent a lot of money buying him, he’s been the best players in League One and hopefully he’ll get his golden boot.
“We had multiple players trying to buy him in January and we promised Ivan if we weren’t in the Championship next season we would sell him. We don’t sell our players cheap, the pandemic won’t change that.
“I can envisage he’ll go top two or three in the Championship or bottom-half Premier League clubs.
“Some of the Premier League clubs might not do a lot of European shopping and look to the lower-leagues and Ivan’s physicality suits the top level.”
There’s a big difference between League One level and the English top flight, but Toney has looked streets above the third tier whenever I’ve caught a glimpse of him over the past 18 months.
It’s easy to say that we should’ve kept him in hindsight, however you could argue his upturn in form has only arrived now he’s found a new home and settled down.
After all, it can’t have been easy for him to properly develop when he was being loaned out twice a season to struggling EFL clubs giving him limited minutes? The same applies to Adam Armstrong, a player who struggled during brief spells with Barnsley and Bolton (while on our books), yet is now one of the Championship’s in-form players after weighing in with 19 goals/assists across 2019/20.
As for Toney, it will be interesting to see how he fares should a bottom-half Premier League club come calling this summer.
One thing for sure, however, is that he’s likely to cost MUCH more than the £650,000 we sold him for two years ago, with some outlets claiming he’ll demand a fee between £10-£15m.
Another talented youngster we didn’t manage properly, or has he found his level? Time will tell.