Home competition discipline England squad boosted by returning Toney ahead of Brazil and Belgium friendlies

England squad boosted by returning Toney ahead of Brazil and Belgium friendlies

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The 27-year-old Toney won his lone cap for England as a substitute against Ukraine last March, and has scored four goals for Brentford since his return from suspension on January 20.

Brentford’s Ivan Toney has been called up to the England team for friendlies later in March. Picture: REUTERS, Hannah Mckay

Brentford forward Ivan Toney received his first England call-up on Thursday since serving an eight-month suspension for breaching FA betting rules ahead of friendlies against Brazil and Belgium.

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite and Newcastle United forward Anthony Gordon were called up for the first time by manager Gareth Southgate, who said Arsenal defender Ben White had asked not to be considered for the squad.

The 27-year-old Toney won his lone cap for England as a substitute against Ukraine last March, and has scored four goals for Brentford since his return from suspension on January 20.

“He’s shown straight away getting back into Brentford’s team the quality and impact he can have,” said Southgate. The 21-year-old Branthwaite has been a bright spot in Everton’s roller-coaster season.

“He’s played consistently well,” Southgate said. “His development, we watched him as a back-up centre-half for the under-21s, if you said a year ago he would consistently play in the Premier League, I would’ve been surprised.”

Midfielder Kalvin Phillips, on loan at West Ham United from Manchester City, missed out on a call-up due to a lack of form. England will host Brazil on March 23 and Belgium on March 26 at Wembley Stadium.

England are ranked third in the world, while Belgium are fourth and Brazil, fifth.

Reuters

England Squad

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Kyle Walker, John Stones (both Manchester City)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid/ESP), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Ajax/NED), Declan Rice (Arsenal), James Maddison (Tottenham)

Forwards: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich/GER), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

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