Brentford striker Ivan Toney has said he “never had any doubts” he would get an England call-up.
Toney, 26, has scored five goals in seven Premier League games this season and was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Nations League games with Italy and Germany this month.
“I feel like I have full confidence in myself,” Toney said.
“I had never played in any other age group, so to go straight into the senior team is a huge achievement.”
Toney, who was playing in League One with Peterborough United in March 2020, was named in an England squad two months before the start of the World Cup in Qatar on November 20.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me to get on the plane. But I have to go game by game. Hopefully I’ll get some minutes in the games we have.”
In their final fixtures before the World Cup, England will face European champions Italy at Milan’s San Siro on Friday, September 26, before taking on Germany at Wembley.
Toney added: “If you show up you always have a big chance of it. No matter where I was – here, there and everywhere on loan – I always believed in the back of my mind that one day I would be a Premier League player. .
“Now I’m a Premier League player and an England international.”
“Actually, I will play for England”
Toney said he was left speechless when Brentford boss Thomas Frank Southgate called him to break the news.
“I was driving to training when the Brentford gaffer called me,” Toney said. “I was running a little late, so I thought he was calling about my timeline.
“He said he was privileged to be told that I had been called up for England. It was the first time in my life that I had nothing to say.
“I was driving to training thinking, ‘Wow, I’m actually going to play for England.’
“We have a family group chat, I called everyone on video, I broke the news and they were screaming for about 20 minutes. My dad was honking, he was everywhere.”
Asked what it’s like to play with Tottenham stars like Harry Kane, Toney said it’s “a privilege”.
“I’m taking it easy and I hope to have more time to play with them,” he added.
The Bees striker has scored 17 goals in 42 Premier League appearances, including six from the penalty spot. But when asked who would be the better choice for penalties at the World Cup, Toney backed the England captain.
“She’s done it on a bigger stage, so I’m going to say it’s Karry Kane,” he said.