Gareth Southgate explains Ivan Toney selection for England despite betting charges
Gareth Southgate has explained why he recalled Ivan Toney despite the Brentford striker being charged with alleged breaches of FA betting rules.
Toney is back in the England squad for next week’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.
The 27-year-old’s 16 goals make him the second-highest English goalscorer in the Premier League this season behind Harry Kane.
But he faces a potential ban for breaking FA betting rules.
Explaining his decision to select Toney, Southgate said: “The fact is that he is available for his club, there hasn’t been any trial or judgement as yet, so I don’t know any basis not to pick him really.
“I think before the World Cup, Callum Wilson hit form at just the right time. He has had a little bit of an injury that has inhibited his performance in the last few weeks.
“As soon as we named our squad, he had a brilliant game at Manchester City which is typical. He is playing really well. I like his presence in games.
“I saw his game at Arsenal where he was outstanding and he deserves his opportunity.”
Ben Chilwell and Reece James return after missing the World Cup in Qatar through injury, while Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi is selected ahead of Arsenal’s Ben White and Everton’s Conor Coady.
Southgate explained why they and Liverpool right back Trent Alexander-Arnold have been left out.
He said: “Raheem [Sterling] is not fit, so that’s that one. With Ben and Trent, we have three boys in at right full-backs and we have got them just ahead of those two. We’re blessed in that position with depth of talent. It is the hardest position to pick.
“It is never straightforward criteria and it is always shifting around on form. Kyle and Tripps started games at the World Cup and Reece coming back is another top player so, yes, we would love to have that depth in every position on the field really.”