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Marcus Rashford "Under Consideration" For World Cup Despite Missing Latest England Squad

Gareth Southgate has handed a first England call-up to Brentford forward Ivan Toney.

Toney is the first Brentford player to be selected for an England squad since 1939.

The 26-year-old has netted five goals for Brentford this season, making him the Premier League's joint-leading English scorer along with Harry Kane.

Toney is set to make his international debut against either Italy or Germany in the UEFA Nations League.

England need to win both games to have any chance of winning Group A3, while anything less than six points could result in relegation.

The 28-man party announced on Thursday is the final squad Southgate will select before naming the 26 players he will take to the Qatar World Cup in November.

Toney's inclusion this month came at the expense of Marcus Rashford, but Southgate was keen to stress that the Manchester United frontman still has time to earn a place on the plane to Qatar.

England manager Gareth Southgate (right) pictured with Marcus Rashford in October 2019

England manager Gareth Southgate (right) could still pick Marcus Rashford in his World Cup squad

Southgate told englandfootball.com: "There were certain players we wanted to keep involved this time, but that said it doesn't mean that this is the end for some of the others who aren't involved.

"Marcus Rashford, for example, has shown some encouraging signs recently. He is a player we know well so if he can perform at a high level in the next few weeks, he of course will be under consideration."

It is understood that Rashford may have been left out due to a short-term injury issue.

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No.1 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford's absence is definitely injury-related.

Meanwhile, Eric Dier is back after almost two years in international exile. His last England appearance came in November 2020.

Dier has started all eight of Tottenham's games this season, in stark contrast to fellow center-back Harry Maguire, who has been on the bench in Man United's last four EPL matches.

Harry Maguire (no.6) pictured in action for England against Ivory Coast in March 2022

Harry Maguire (no.6) pictured in action for England against Ivory Coast in March

Southgate added: "Clearly, we have a number of players including Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips who are not playing a lot of minutes with their club.

"It is not ideal, but we feel they have been, and can be, important players for us. It is not a perfect situation but there is still a lot of football to be played before Qatar.

"With Eric Dier, he has been playing well for a period of time. We think it is a really close call across our center-backs and he has deserved to be picked back in the group. We know what a good character he is. He fits in with the culture and has great international experience and leadership qualities.

"With Ivan Toney, we have been tracking him for a long time. I had a good chat with Thomas Frank about him last season. His form and his qualities - not only his goalscoring but his technical ability, build-up play and aerial prowess - gives us a different threat to some of the other players we could pick."

England Squad For Nations League Games Against Italy And Germany

Goalkeepers: Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), Dean Henderson (on loan at Nottingham Forest from Manchester United).

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (on loan at Everton from Wolves), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Roma), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Ivan Toney (Brentford).