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Tony backs England’s World Cup bid

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Tony has been in superb form for Brentford this season and took his tally to eight league goals for the season with a brace in Saturday’s (AEDT) 2-0 defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion.

After marking his 100th Premier League appearance for Brentford with a deft strike to give them a first-half lead, Toney calmly converted the spot-kick after the break to seal the points.

Toney has taken all 20 penalties for Brentford (not including runs), including eight in the Premier League, which puts him behind only Dimitri Berbatov (9/9) and Yaya Toure (11/11) when it comes to players with a 100 percent record from a place in the competition.

The 26-year-old, who also scored from 12 yards in last week’s defeat to Newcastle United and last month’s defeat to Leeds United, received his first England call-up for the UEFA Nations League matches against Italy and Germany in September

Despite not making his international debut, only Erling Haaland (15) has scored more goals than Toni in the Premier League this season and Frank believes Toni, whom he has replicated as the best performer penalty in the game, should be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad.

“I know I say it every time and he’s starting to back me up a bit – the best penalty taker in the world. It’s not just because of his coolness, his technique, his strategy and his drills,” Frank said.

“We talked about when he got the call, if he could get his first cap it would be amazing. It would be the first time in, I don’t know, 80 years [that a Brentford player played for England] and we keep breaking records these days.

“But it would be amazing for Ivan and I think – I have a lot of respect for Gareth, he knows the bigger picture than I do – but I think he’s perfect for the team if you want that flexibility in the forwards.”

Frank’s sentiment was echoed by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, who said: “I think he has to go. We know Harry Kane is our number one, but after that it seems like a lot of strikers are in the same category in terms of quality. Right now, Ivan Toney is at the top of that list and I don’t see how he won’t go.”

Fellow pundit Gary Neville says Toney, who has joked he “thinks about being on the beach with a cocktail” when he takes a penalty, could prove the difference in a penalty shootout.

England have won just one of their last eight series at major tournaments – against Colombia at FIFA World Cup 2018. Indeed, they lost last year’s Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties.

Neville said: “I’ve been in eight tournaments and five of them have been on penalties. The thing is, we have confident players who do that regularly, and England have plenty of those in the squad.

“Those big moments will be determined by penalties and free kicks, not having him would be a big risk.”

For his part, Tony said of his experience in England: “I didn’t feel out of place. I felt I was ready for this step.

“I’m ready to take the opportunity. I always see myself as the best player on the pitch and you always have to have that mentality no matter who you’re up against.”

https://www.beinsports.com/au/premier-league/video/toney-backs-up-england-world-cup-claim/1968758

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