Gareth Southgate considering Ivan Toney call-up for Nations League games

Ivan Toney is in Gareth Southgate’s thoughts as the England manager prepares to name his final squad before the World Cup – for the upcoming Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany.

The Brentford striker has started the season in fine form, scoring five Premier League goals and adding two assists in the competition, and Southgate will consider whether to give him a first call-up. No English player has scored more goals than Toney in Europe’s top five leagues this season.

England face Italy at San Siro on Friday week before hosting Germany at Wembley on the following Monday in what will be the last games before they kick-off in Qatar against Iran on 21 November.

It is unclear whether Marcus Rashford will make a return when Southgate announces his squad on Thursday. The Manchester United striker has also begun the campaign brightly, scoring three league goals and making two assists. He has not travelled for his club’s Europa League tie at FC Sheriff on Thursday, with Erik Ten Hag saying it was a consequence of a muscle injury picked up in the win over Arsenal on the Sunday before last.

Southgate has further injury concerns over Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, Luke Shaw and Jordan Henderson.