Southgate names Brentford striker Toney in England squad

England manager Gareth Southgate has picked uncapped striker Ivan Toney in the squad for this month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.

Brentford’s Toney, 27, is the second-highest English goalscorer in the Premier League this season with 16 goals, behind Tottenham’s Harry Kane.

However, he is facing a potential ban from the game having accepted breaking Football Association betting rules.

England travel to Italy on 23 March and host Ukraine at Wembley on 26 March.

The matches will be England’s first since they were knocked out by France in the World Cup quarter-final in December.

“He is playing for his club and available for them,” said Southgate. “There hasn’t been a trial or any judgement so I don’t know on what basis we wouldn’t pick him.

“Ivan has been consistent across the season. He is playing really well. I like his presence in games.”

Toney was picked in the squad for England’s Nations League qualifiers with Italy and Germany last year but did not play.

The forward has helped Brentford to eighth in the Premier League this season and scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with top-flight leaders Arsenal in February.

“I saw his game against Arsenal where he was outstanding and he deserves his opportunity,” Southgate added.

“[I am] very proud and pleased and happy especially on behalf of Ivan,” Brentford boss Frank said.

“I think he truly deserves it and I said to him in front of all the players this morning how pleased we are as a club, how happy we are and how well deserved it is.

“I want to give more credit to him, I want to give more credit to his closest family and friends because I think they have been the biggest support network.”

England squad

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders:Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester City), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham)

Forwards:Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford)

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