‘Only Kane is in better form than Toney’

Brentford boss Thomas Frank says it is “impossible” to find a more in-form English striker beyond Harry Kane than Ivan Toney, following the Bees star’s omission from the England World Cup squad.

Toney was called up for the England squad to face Germany and Italy in the Nations League in September but did not play and has now been left out of the squad altogether by England boss Gareth Southgate for the tournament in Qatar.

But Frank believes Toney, who has scored eight goals in 13 Premier League games this season, had done enough to earn himself another call-up.

“I said to him that these coaches don’t always take the best decisions, including myself,” Frank said.

“Of course, I said it with a smile on my face.

“I think Gareth has done an unbelievable job being the head coach of England, reaching the semi-final of a World Cup and then so close (in the Euros).

“A penalty shoot-out is like the flip of a coin, maybe not for England, but for every other nation in the world, to win it.

“I think he’s done fantastic, so I think we should just trust the process and the selection.

“But that said, it depends on what you look at. If you look at strikers in form, you can’t find a better striker in form in the country after Harry Kane. Impossible.

“You look at (James) Maddison, I guess he’s picked because he’s in form. But if you look at players who have at least one cap for England, then if that’s the criteria, you’re not selected.

“Ivan is a guy with a strong mentality and big resilience. You don’t take the pathway he’s taken from Newcastle to here and being proven in the Premier League without being strong mentally and resilient, so he will be fine.

“Gareth is a smart and clever guy, so he must have had his reasons for not putting him on the pitch (in the Nations League). But obviously if you want to see if a player is good enough, you need to put him on the pitch.”