EDDIE HOWE hopes that Newcastle will never sell a gem like Ivan Toney on the cheap again.
Toon had no director of football then and Benitez insists nobody told him about the striker’s potential.
Under the Saudi owners, Dan Ashworth is tasked with linking up the first team and academy. And boss Howe said: “I’d love to think that would not happen now.
“When you watch him play now, see his attributes and what he can bring to his team, he’s outstanding.
“The call-up is a great thing for players who go to the lower leagues and gives them hope it’s not the end of their dreams.
“He has had to work his way back up and he has done incredibly well.”
While Toney has a massive opportunity to stake a claim for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad, Callum Wilson’s chances look slim.
Newcastle’s No 9 was looking good for a recall after two goals in his first three games of the season but a hamstring injury has ruled him out since.
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Wilson, 30, remains a doubt for today’s clash against former club Bournemouth at St James’ Park.
But Howe insisted: “Never write off Callum Wilson, his mindset is incredible.
“I don’t think his World Cup chance is gone and I don’t think Callum believes so, either.
“He can’t sit there and dwell and go, ‘poor me’.
“There’s time. I’m a firm believer in him and his abilities and I know Gareth Southgate is the same. He has to return, score and be consistent in his availability.
“Maybe he has to have a bit of luck somewhere else to make that plane.”