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Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho left out of England squad as Ivan Toney gets first call-up
The England squad for the upcoming Nations League games against Italy and Germany has been confirmed, with Ivan Toney included but Jadon Sancho left out
Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have both missed out on a place in England’s latest squad, while Brentford striker Ivan Toney has earned a first call-up.
Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming international break has few surprise inclusions, with the likes of Harry Kane, Declan Rice and Harry Maguire now stalwarts for the national team.
Eric Dier has been recalled to the squad after a strong start to the season for Tottenham, and there is a place again for Crystal Palace youngster Marc Guehi, who made his first England appearances earlier this year.
There is likely to be stiff competition for the No.1 shirt, with Dean Henderson, Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope all performing well at their respective clubs. Jordan Pickford’s injury could provide an opportunity for one of the three to stake a claim for the position ahead of the World Cup.
James Ward-Prowse is one of relatively few out-and-out central midfielders included, although the likes of Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Eric Dier can all drop into midfield roles.
Another notable name left out of the squad is Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, who appeared to be a part of Thomas Tuchel’s plans for this season before he was sent off against Leicester.
Ben White and James Justin have also been dropped from the previous squad, and Sancho’s struggle for consistency at Manchester United has clearly left Southgate unimpressed.
“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,” Southgate explained as he prepares his team for upcoming Nations League games against Italy and Germany.
“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 clubs.
“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.
“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 [Brentford manager] Thomas Frank about him last season.
“His form and his qualities - not only his goal scoring but his technical ability, build-up play and aerial prowess - gives us a different threat to some of the other players we could pick."
England face Italy on Friday, 23 September in Milan, before hosting Germany at Wembley on Monday, 26 September. Both matches kick off at 7.45pm.
Goalkeepers: Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest, on loan from Manchester United).
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (on loan at Everton from Wolves), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice ( West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).
Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Roma), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Ivan Toney (Brentford)