Nations League: Ivan Toney gets first England call-up as Gareth Southgate stands by Harry Maguire

England travel to Italy and host Germany in the Nations League later this month, aiming to make amends for a dreadful start to the competition.

Agence France-Presse September 16, 2022 01:04:20 IST
Nations League: Ivan Toney gets first England call-up as Gareth Southgate stands by Harry Maguire

Ivan Toney in a file photo. AP

London: Brentford striker Ivan Toney was the only fresh face in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for their final two matches before the World Cup kicks off in November.

England travel to Italy and host Germany in the Nations League later this month, aiming to make amends for a dreadful start to the competition.

Southgate’s men have taken just two points from their opening four games in the group, including an embarrassing 4-0 home defeat to Hungary last time out.

“Clearly as an international manger you don’t have any games to quickly put the disappointment behind you,” said Southgate.

“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.”

Toney has been rewarded for his fine start to the season with five goals in seven Premier League games.

“We have been tracking him for a long time,” said Southgate.

“I had a good chat with (Brentford manager) 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.”

Other than Toney’s inclusion, Southgate has remained loyal to the core of the team that reached the Euro 2020 final.

Manchester United duo Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are included in the 28-man squad despite losing their place at club level under Erik ten Hag.

Kalvin Phillips has also found game time hard to come by since moving to Manchester City, while Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell has only recently returned from a long-term injury.

“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,” added Southgate.

“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.”

Another two United players remain out of the squad as injury put paid to Marcus Rashford’s hopes of a recall and there is no place for Jadon Sancho.

First-choice goalkeeper Jordan Pickford also misses out with a thigh injury.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest), Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

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

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

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

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