What does England dropping John Stones and Ivan Toney against Italy say about the former Barnsley FC players' World Cup chances?

Former Barnsley players John Stones and Ivan Toney have been left out of England's Nations League squad to face Italy.

Gareth Southgate named a 28-man party for the games against Italy on Friday and Germany on Monday, but with "only" 12 substitutes allowed for each game, five have to miss out.

For the first match Stones, Toney, former Huddersfield Town loanee, Jordan Henderson and Marc Guehi are the unlucky men.

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In the case of Barnsley-born Stones, it is no cause for alarm – he is suspended as a result of his red card against Hungary in June, and Gareth Southgate has shown in his squad for the two matches how loyal he is to those who have served him well in the past.

OVERLOOKED: Barnsley-born Manchester City and England defender John StonesOVERLOOKED: Barnsley-born Manchester City and England defender John Stones
OVERLOOKED: Barnsley-born Manchester City and England defender John Stones

The selections of Sheffield-born Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Chilwell and, initially, Phillips despite little club football this season shows that. Henderson’s absence having only just recovered from injury allows Southgate a bit more scope in his penultimate chance for experimentation before the World Cup.

That Crystal Palace's Guehi has also been left out shows a squad well-stocked at centre-back, Manchester City defender Stones's position.

But the absence of Toney will be more of a concern to the Brentford striker, who had two loans at Oakwell.

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Toney is uncapped and the two matches represent his only chance to stake a claim to be a back-up to first-choice centre-forward Harry Kane in the provisional World Cup squad named on October 19, 33 days before the opening game against Iran In Qatar.