Adam Armstrong's prolific season at Coventry City wasn't enough to convince the Newcastle United manager - but what of Toney?
Ivan Toney’s second goal in Saturday’s matchwinning brace against Bradford City is enough alone to explain exactly why Newcastle United see him as a future first-team prospect.
With his back to goal, the rangy striker plucked the ball out of the air and, via a quick swivel, arrowed an inspired overhead kick into the bottom corner of the net. It was Toney’s third goal for Scunthorpe United, the club he joined on loan in January, and with it he earned them only a second win in 12 games.
If The Iron, currently fourth in the table, arrest their slide in time to keep their League One promotion ambitions alive, Toney’s goal could represent something of a turning point.
However, those who believe his stunning strike could be a catalyst for his own career may be disappointed.
The 21-year-old, signed from Northampton Town in August 2015, only featured four times in 18 months with Newcastle and his lack of game time at Scunthorpe suggests he’s not yet ready to make the step up in Rafael Benitez’s side.
Toney has only started four times since arriving at Glanford Park with manager Graham Alexander using him as cover or an impact substitute.
Therefore, if Adam Armstrong, who netted 20 times in 40 appearances for Coventry City in the same division last season, can’t earn a place in Benitez’s squad, what chance does Toney have of being handed a back-up role next season?
Local lad Armstrong was farmed out on loan to Barnsley at the start of the season despite many fans expecting him to get an opportunity in the first-team.
"We won't let him get carried away,” Scunthorpe assistant Chris Lucketti said of Toney’s performance, as reported by the Scunthorpe Telegraph.
“He has got a lot of hard work to do to reproduce that next week if he is selected.”
Although his potential is clear, Toney has a long way to go before he can prove he’s ready to make the step up at Scunthorpe, let alone Newcastle.