Gareth Southgate has insisted that he will continue to call Brentford striker Ivan Toney up for England games until he is told not to.
Ivan Toney became the first Bees player to earn a Three Lions cap since Les Smith in 1939 during England’s comfortable 2-0 win over Ukraine at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening.
The Brenford striker’s cap was more than just rewards for his exceptional form at club level this season. Toney has been outscored by just Harry Kane and Erling Haaland in the Premier League thus far this season, baggging a hugely impressive 16 goals in his 25 appearances.
There’s plenty of doubt over Toney’s future however, with the player facing a ban after pleading guilty to breaching the FA’s betting rules.
Speaking to the press about whether the FA charges will affect Toney’s chances of earning more England caps, manager Southgate insisted that he’d pick the striker until he is no longer allowed to.
“I only know what I’ve read,” the boss said. “Whether he has admitted anything or not, I’ve not had that conversation with him because for me until I am instructed that there is a ban – if there is to be one – then he’s eligible for selection. Otherwise I’m interfering with the process.
“And whatever happens there will be life after that – if that happens. We have felt he has earned the right to be with us and I think it was important to know that we weren’t going to pre-judge anything. He deserves to play and he was with us on merit.”
Toney is facing 262 charges from the FA regarding betting charges that date back to 2017. The striker has, as reported by the Daily Mail, admitted to ‘multiple charges’ but is currently contesting a number of others.
If found guilty of all charges, Toney faces a lengthy ban from football.