Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci has done some research on Ivan Toney ahead of the Brentford striker’s potential England debut.
The Three Lions take on Italy in Milan on Friday evening in the Nations League.
Gareth Southgate’s side potentially face relegation to the second tier of the competition after a dire start to the campaign.
They have two points after four games having drawn with Italy and Germany and lost 4-0 and 1-0 to Hungary in June.
It has been reported that Manchester United defender Harry Maguire will start for England on Friday despite his lack of minutes at club level.
There were a few debatable inclusions in Southgate’s most recent squad, but one player who definitely earned their call-up is Toney.
The Brentford talisman could make his debut against the Italians this evening.
If he does play tonight or against Germany on Monday, the 26-year-old will become the first Bees player to represent England in 83 years.
When asked about his inclusion, Toney said: “Never doubted it.
“I feel like I have full confidence in myself, I have just got to keep working hard and it makes it that much sweeter when you get the chance.”
Toney has started the Premier League season very well, scoring five goals in seven appearances, including a hat-trick against Leeds United earlier this month.
While he is making a name for himself in English football, it appears that Bonucci is not familiar with the newly capped England man.
He obviously knows who Harry Kane is having battled with him in the final of Euro 2020.
“With Kane, we have played many matches against each other,” Bonucci said.
“I believe he is a great striker and among the best in the world.”
However, when discussing Toney, he simply referred to the Brentford player as “the new one”.
“And the new one? We will see. I watched some videos about him over these last few days and he is very talented.
“In England they have a great advantage as they have real talent thanks to the courage of Premier League clubs to make them play.”
The Italy captain feels his side will be able to use the England match to gauge themselves after they failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.
He said: “It’s going to be a very important match because it will tell us where we are in this rebirth, let’s say.
“Because after failing to qualify for the World Cup the coach has changed many players, so tomorrow we will understand where we really are, where we need to improve and if there is something to improve.
“But I think this will be the best match possible to start again and to build something new and important for the future.
“England are a great team so we need to pay attention to their individual qualities because offensively they have very talented players, who can change the match in the blink of an eye.”
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