Ivan Toney backed to ‘fit right into’ England fold as Brentford striker eyes long-awaited debut

Ivan Toney backed to ‘fit right into’ England fold as Brentford striker eyes long-awaited debut

Ivan Toney’s Brentford team-mate Ethan Pinnock has backed the striker to make an impact for England following his recall to the squad.

Toney was called up by Gareth Southgate despite facing 262 FA charges for alleged breaches of gambling rules.

The 27-year-old is the second-highest English goalscorer in the Premier League this season and could make his England debut in the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy or Ukraine next week.

Toney has spearheaded Brentford’s push for Europe, and Pinnock is confident he will score at international level.

“He will fit right in and it is thoroughly deserved,” said the defender. “He is a great striker. He brings good leadership qualities as well. He is really confident in his ability. When the ball is up to him, you know that the defenders are going to be in for a tough game.

“He is a clever player, his knowledge of when to pass and when to hold the ball up is really good.”

Manchester United and Chelsea are just two clubs who have been linked with Toney in the past, and Pinnock knows interest in the League’s third-highest scorer is inevitable.

“I don’t worry about it,” he said. “Unless you’re at one of the top five or six clubs, players are always going to eventually move on if they’re doing well. It’s natural.”

Toney was charged with 232 betting breaches in November and a further 30 in December. He has accepted a number of the charges but is expected to contest some at an FA hearing.

Toney has remained available for selection and Southgate did not think his imminent hearing should prevent him from a recall.

“He is available for his club,” said the England boss. “There has not been a trial as yet, or any judgment, so I do not know on what basis we would not pick him.”

Thomas Frank’s side host Leicester on Saturday, knowing a win would lift them into the top six.