London, March 17 (IANS) England coach Gareth Southgate has made several changes to his squad for their Euro 2024 qualifying matches against Italy and Ukraine later this month.
Brentford striker Ivan Toney is rewarded for an excellent season that has seen him score 17 goals, while Chelsea full backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James are also included after having missed out on last year’s FIFA World Cup due to injury.
However, there is no place for Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Coady, Ben White or Callum Wilson, who were all present at the World Cup, while Raheem Sterling misses out through injury, a Xinhua report said.
Toney’s inclusion comes despite facing charges of breaching rules on betting, which could lead to him receiving a lengthy ban, but Southgate backed the powerful striker.
“He’s available for his club. There hasn’t been a trial or a judgement yet, so I don’t know on what basis I wouldn’t pick him. He’s playing really well,” said Southgate.
Southgate took time to confirm he would continue as England boss after the World Cup and admitted his “big challenge” was “having to start again.”
“I know where our most senior players will be with that challenge, they’re ready. They set the tone for the mentality that’s going to be needed,” he explained.
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale
Defenders: Ben Chilwell, Eric Dier, Marc Guehi, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, James Maddison, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice
Forwards: Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney