‘I’d love to think that won’t happen now’: Eddie Howe hopes Newcastle can avoid a repeat of failing to develop talent like Ivan Toney… after the striker they sold for just £300,000 received his first England call-up this week
- Newcastle sold Ivan Toney to Peterborough for just £300,000 in 2018
- Toney, who now stars for Brentford, received his first England call-up on Thursday
- Eddie Howe believes Newcastle are better prepared to avoid a Toney repeat
- The Magpies have had to spend £60m to bolster their impressive options
Eddie Howe believes Newcastle now have the structures in place to prevent a failure to recognize and develop the talent of a player like Ivan Toney.
The Brentford striker, 26, celebrates his maiden England call-up this week, four years after he was sold from Newcastle to Peterborough for just £300,000.
Rafa Benitez was manager at the time but has always maintained that club staff did not inform him of Toney’s potential and that he never spent a training day with his senior team.
Ivan Toney received his first England call-up this week after impressing for Brentford
Toney’s handling – he was sent out on loan six times – was symptomatic of a club lacking a sporting director and a link between the academy and the first team.
Newcastle’s new owners have since appointed Dan Ashworth to oversee such runs and Howe said: “I would love to think (Toney’s situation) wouldn’t happen now. This is not a criticism of anyone at the time and why Ivan left, I don’t know.
“When you watch him play now and see his attributes and what he can bring to his team, he’s an outstanding player. The invitation is very good for players who go to the lower leagues and gives them hope that it is not the end of their dreams. He had to come back and he did incredibly well.’
Newcastle sold the striker for just £300,000 to Peterborough in the summer of 2018
Eddie Howe believes Newcastle are better prepared to avoid missing out on talent like Toney
Newcastle inquired about Toney’s availability in the summer but were put off by an asking price of at least £40m, although that looks cheap given his form this season.
The Magpies eventually signed Swedish striker Alexander Isak for a record £60million, but only after Callum Wilson suffered a hamstring injury in August.
Wilson is likely to miss Saturday’s visit of former club Bournemouth and, having previously stated his ambition to earn a place in England’s World Cup squad, those hopes will look remote given his injury and form Tony. Howe disagrees.
“Never write Callum Wilson off, his mentality is incredible,” said Howe, who is set to be without hamstring victim Allan Saint-Maximin this weekend but will welcome back Bruno Guimaraes.
“I don’t think Callum’s World Cup opportunity is lost and I don’t think he thinks so either. For Calum, you can’t just sit there and stay and go, ‘Poor me.’
“He’s had an incredible rise from non-league to where he is. He enjoys every moment instead of looking at negative situations. It will just fuel his motivation, fire him up even more when he comes back to show how good he is.
Toney will be hoping to prove himself in time to make Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad
Newcastle asked Toney in the summer before signing Alexander Isak (pictured)
“I’m a firm believer in him and his ability and I know Gareth (Southgate) is the same. He has to come back and score and he has to be consistent in his availability. Maybe he needs to get some luck somewhere else to build this plane.’
Meanwhile, Howe confirmed that Newcastle have had several discussions with PGMOL in light of their admission that they were wrong to have his side’s goal disallowed during their goalless draw with Crystal Palace a fortnight ago. Joe Willock was adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper despite being pushed by a Palace defender.
Howe said: “It was good that they came out and admitted it was a clear mistake. It was an incredible decision in a negative way for us.
“They have to give the referees all the opinions they have, especially on such a big call. I don’t think the referee saw the view where there was clear push, which obviously affects the decision making process.
But not only that, the referee, when going to the monitor, must go with an open mind. He made a decision at that moment (to give the goal), so they have a gut feeling. He should have recognized that instinct and not listened to Lee Mason and the guys in the VAR studio – that changed his decision to a negative result.”