There have been many many names connected with Newcastle United so far this summer. Some have been realistic. Some have been... less realistic. Predictably, it is one of the less familiar names that seems likely to be the first "through the door" or "over the line" or whatever turn of phrase you prefer. While rumors regarding the reinforcements to the senior squad are getting harder and harder to believe, there is one that makes sense on many levels.
Ivan Toney is 19 years old and is the youngest ever player in Northampton Town history, making his senior debut for the club at the age of 16. He has scored 13 goals in 60 appearances for Northampton, many of which can be seen in this highlights and skills video (his reputation took a healthy jump following the overhead kick at 1:13):
It's hard to tell tons from these types of videos, but there are things that are fun to look at. He stands 5' 11" (roughly) and is already adept at finding himself space among the defense in order to get on the end of crosses. As a target man, he has more goals at 19 than Mike Williamson has in 5 years of being the main target for any Newcastle set piece, so that's probably good. If there is any cause for concern in his highlight video above, it is the relative lack of goals with the ball on the floor. This isn't to mean that he has problems in this area, it's just an illustration of the limitations of the "highlight video" era.
He was on the verge of a move to Wolves in the January window at a reported price £500,000. The move was ultimately called off amid reports of a failed medical, but following the collapse of the move, information was very hard to come by. This piece from the Northants Herald and Post discusses that failed transfer and reinforces the impressions given by the video above. The exact reasons for the Wolves move collapsing will matter in the long run and the current reports of a £300,000 offer for the player from Newcastle is significantly lower than the January reports. The cost difference could be explained to a certain degree if it were a sign-and-loan deal a la Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles from Nottingham Forest last summer, although there is enough to be concerned about that much of a price dip on top of the collapsed January move.
A move for Toney would be (another) one for the future, but he is an English player who has a growing reputation which is always a decent investment given the English Player Transfer Surcharge that would be made if he turns into a monster some day.