In Focus: Toney out to end Toon talk of an instant revival
All eyes will be on new boss Eddie Howe when Newcastle take on Brentford on Saturday.
But the St James’ Park faithful will also be intrigued to see how former Magpie Ivan Toney gets on.
The striker made just four appearances during a three-year spell on Tyneside before joining Peterborough permanently in 2018.
In a different world, Toney could have been lining up in the No9 shirt currently worn by Callum Wilson.
We compare the two strikers ahead of a Premier League showdown struggling Newcastle will be desperate to win.
Doing it the hard way
Wilson, 29, started out at Coventry and had loan spells at non-league sides Kettering and Tamworth before reaching the Premier League by winning the Championship with Bournemouth.
Toney, on the other hand, was earmarked as a potential star early in his career when he played for Northampton’s first team at 16.
But his move to St James’ Park in August 2015 did not go to plan and he had six loan spells at four different clubs during three seasons there.
A switch to Peterborough was the making of the frontman and the 25-year-old's 31 goals last term helped Brentford secure promotion to the top flight.
Wilson’s injury struggles
A fit Wilson is vital to Newcastle’s chances of staying up.
He has 57 goals in 159 Premier League games, including 16 in 33 appearances for the Toon Army.
It is an impressive record and there is a reason Gareth Southgate has handed Wilson four England caps, the first of which was marked with a goal against the United States.
Speaking ahead of Monday night's 10-0 win over San Marino, Southgate suggested a recall for the Toon star was a possibility.
He said: "We haven’t really had an opening for a forward but the door is never closed on anyone.
"In terms of the players we’ve called up this time, we just think Emile [Smith Rowe] and Conor [Gallagher] are playing better than others we could have called in. It’s as simple as that."
Despite his obvious qualities on the pitch, it is making sure he is able to start that will worry Howe.
Wilson made his top-flight debut in August 2015 but has only managed one injury-free season since.
Two serious knee problems took out a large chunk of that time but constant hamstring niggles have interrupted his Newcastle career.
There is little doubt Toney is just as important to Brentford as Wilson is to Newcastle.
His return of two goals in 11 games this term shows a striker still adjusting to life in the top tier.
But he brings so much more to the Bees than just goals — as shown in the 3-3 draw with Liverpool when he gave Virgil van Dijk a tough night.
After that game, former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor tipped him to keep improving.
He said: "Toney looks with every Premier League game he plays like he’s going to get better.
"Watching him last season, it’s like every game he played he got better. He’s winning every header, he’s working hard for the team.
"He looks like a hungry striker who wants to play for his country, wants to get Brentford up the league."
Wilson is currently operating at a different level to Toney in front of goal.
He has only had 15 shots, of which six have been on target and four have found the back of the net.
Toney has had 27, with nine on target producing just two goals — one of which was a penalty.
But Wilson has actually missed two big chances compared to none from his Brentford counterpart.
And Toney is streets ahead of the Newcastle forward when it comes to supplying team-mates with opportunities.
He has created four big chances and 14 in total, compared to zero and three respectively for Wilson.
Hard to separate
Based on current form, would Newcastle rather have Toney or Wilson up front?
It is an incredibly hard question to answer, especially as Toney’s development would no doubt have been different had he stayed on Tyneside.
If the Magpies continue to struggle going forward, Wilson’s cool head in front of goal will be vital for them.
But Toney has shown how adept he is at bringing others into play and takes every step up in quality in his stride.
Four years younger than Wilson, the Bees striker could yet reach the very top.
At the moment, it is difficult to separate them. In the coming years, however, it would be no surprise to see Toney hit heights Wilson has not.