Ivan Toney has been left out of England’s matchday squad to face Italy, which begs the question as to when the Brentford striker can expect to make his senior international debut.
The 26-year-old has seen his fine form at the start of the 2022-23 Premier League season – with five goals recorded through seven games – rewarded with a first call-up into Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions fold.
He has been training alongside English football’s elite during the build-up to a UEFA Nations League double-header, but a first outing at the very highest level has been pushed back.
Why has Ivan Toney been left out of England’s squad to face Italy?
Southgate named a 28-man squad for meetings with Italy and Germany, meaning that five players will be forced to miss out when each of those fixtures is played.
Toney is one of the unfortunate few to have been overlooked for the clash with the Azzurri in Milan.
With England going winless through their first four games of the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League campaign, they are in danger of being relegated out of the A section of that event for the first time.
With a positive result at San Siro imperative, Southgate has decided to go with experience in his matchday plans – which means no spot for debutant hopeful Toney.
Roma striker Tammy Abraham has been given the nod as an alternative to national team captain and Tottenham talisman Harry Kane – who is fast closing in on Wayne Rooney’s all-time goal record with England.
Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson, who was a late replacement for the injured Kalvin Phillips also misses out having only recently recovered from a hamstring problem, while Chelsea full-back Ben Chilwell and Crystal Palace centre-half Marc Guehi find themselves waiting in the wings.
John Stones completes the five-man party to miss out against Italy as the Manchester City defender is serving an international suspension for the red card he picked up in a 4-0 defeat to Hungary back in June.
When will Ivan Toney make his England debut?
Toney will be hoping that his absence from Southgate’s plans is only temporary, with there a desire on his part to prove that he is deserving of a first international cap.
He has come a long way in a short space of time, with Brentford having snapped him up in 2020 on the back of a 26-goal season in League One with Peterborough.
Toney has told the FA’s official website of his meteoric rise: “We were in League One and now I’m here with England. It is crazy how things can turn around and work out. It is such a privilege to be sitting here.
“No matter where I was, whether I was on loan here, there and everywhere, I always had the mindset that one day I would be a Premier League player and now I am a Premier League player and an England international. So I think from a young age, I believed in myself and believed in my ability and here I am now.”
While he will be left watching on from the stands when Southgate’s side take on Italy, he could come into contention for minutes against Germany at Wembley Stadium on Monday.
Toney started out at home-town club Northampton before being cast aside by Newcastle after making just four appearances for the Magpies, and he will be desperate to prove his worth as England looks to finalise their plans for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.
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