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Ivan Toney named in Gareth Southgate's England squad for Nations League matches against Italy and Germany

Rory O'Callaghan

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Ivan Toney named in Gareth Southgate's England squad for Nations League matches against Italy and Germany

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & FootyRenders

Ivan Toney has earned his first England call-up for this month's Nations League games against Italy and Germany.

The Brentford striker has been named in England boss Gareth Southgate's 28-man squad after impressing at the start of the new season.

The 26-year-old has scored five goals in six Premier League appearances this term and is the third-top scorer in the division behind Manchester City's Erling Haaland (10) and Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic (6).

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Toney has not been capped by England at any youth age group and was reportedly contacted by the Jamaican Football Federation last year over a potential switch of allegiance.

But he could now make his debut for the Three Lions this month after been called up as a replacement for Marcus Rashford, who misses out through injury.

Rashford's United teammate Jadon Sancho has also been left out of the squad despite a promising start to the new season.

Tottenham defender Eric Dier has been recalled by Southgate after playing a key role for Spurs under Antonio Conte.

Meanwhile, three overseas players have been included; AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham and Roma striker Tammy Abraham.

Ivan Toney has been called up to the England squad for the first time (Image: Alamy)
Ivan Toney has been called up to the England squad for the first time (Image: Alamy)

"This is a bigger than normal squad and part of the rationale is that we are very close to a World Cup and we feel, although our results were disappointing in the summer, we have picked on the basis of form and capability over a long period," said Southgate.

"There were certain players we wanted to keep involved this time, but that said it doesn't mean that this is the end for some of the others who aren't involved. Marcus Rashford, for example, has shown some encouraging signs recently. He is a player we know well so if he can perform at a high level in the next few weeks, he of course will be under consideration.

"Clearly, we have a number of players including Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips who are not playing a lot of minutes with their club. It is not ideal, but we feel they have been, and can be, important players for us. It is not a perfect situation but there is still a lot of football to be played before Qatar.

Eric Dier has been recalled by England boss Gareth Southgate (Image: Alamy)
Eric Dier has been recalled by England boss Gareth Southgate (Image: Alamy)

"With Eric Dier, he has been playing well for a period of time. We think it is a really close call across our centre-backs and he has deserved to be picked back in the group. We know what a good character he is. He fits in with the culture and has great international experience and leadership qualities.

"With Ivan Toney, we have been tracking him for a long time. I had a good chat with Thomas Frank about him last season. His form and his qualities - not only his goalscoring but his technical ability, build-up play and aerial prowess - gives us a different threat to some of the other players we could pick.

"Reflecting on the last couple of months, clearly as an international manger you don’t have any games to quickly put the disappointment behind you.

Jadon Sancho misses out on a place in the squad (Image: Alamy)
Jadon Sancho misses out on a place in the squad (Image: Alamy)

"We have had a long period to reflect but now we are really looking forward to two high-quality matches that will be a great test for us and a crucial part of our preparation for the World Cup. It is only eight weeks until we will be naming our squad for Qatar so every minute counts."

England are currently bottom of their Nations League group having taken just two points from their first four games.

Southgate's side will be relegated if they lose to Italy at the San Siro on September 23.

The Three Lions will then take on Germany at Wembley on September 26.

England squad in full

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest, loan from Manchester United), Nick Pope (Newcastle United), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Everton, loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Marc Guéhi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham United), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Tammy Abraham (AS Roma), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Ivan Toney (Brentford)

Topics: England, Football, UEFA Nations League, Football World Cup

Rory O'Callaghan
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