Gareth Southgate named Ivan Toney in the England squad to face Germany on Monday night but played down his chances of a feature.
Toney has been called up for the first time for the UEFA Nations League clashes with Italy and Germany.
Southgate have selected 28 players, but can only name 23 for each matchday. The Brentford striker was one of five unlucky players not to be involved in the 1-0 loss to Italy.
The Three Lions boss has been criticized for not giving him a chance, especially with the World Cup looming.
That could change for the match at Wembley on Monday night, which is live on talkSPORT, as he was picked for the 23-man squad.
Speaking before it became apparent he was in, Southgate played down his chances of playing time and instead opted to look longer term.
“First and foremost, it was great for him to be with us and see how we work,” he said.
“Of course everyone wants to come into the team and on the pitch, but you’re more likely to do well when you’ve been here longer, used to the way we play and comfortable with other players. .
Kane starts, Maguire dropped and Musiala involved – England vs Germany predicted XIs
Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold ‘Championship level’ defensively, says Leboeuf
Wales 0-1 Poland REACTION: Lewandowski puts up winner brilliantly, hosts relegated
Sunderland’s average home attendance this season eclipses Serie A giants Juventus
Maguire criticizes ‘a disaster’, says Matic, who sends message to Man United icon Keane
Partey injured but Arsenal boost as Odegaard returns as North London derby looms
“I think whatever happens tomorrow [Monday]it was a useful exercise for him and for us.
“I remember I was in the stands for the first two international camps, they were a bit shorter, so that’s how Terry Venables got me into the squad.
“Sometimes we did it that way, sometimes we didn’t. I understand the push because we are so close to a World Cup, but there is also life for Ivan Toney beyond the World Cup.
“He is very well in the frame. What he will do with his club until then is very important.
talkSPORT reporter Faye Carruthers pressed Southgate further on the chances of Toney being involved.
He added: “I would say we haven’t made a decision yet on what happens to any of the players, we haven’t finalized the squad as they have just finished training and we are assessing injuries. and what they might be.
“We have a bigger group, so who do we want to involve in this game to make the team feel part of it.
“Then there are people we might like to see on the pitch, and people we might not want.
“There are a lot of factors, but there are a lot of things other than a player and Ivan will understand that.
“We will make the decision that we believe is the right one.”
Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT
At talkSPORT, we’re powered by fans, so come join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – in the talkSPORT fan zone.
In a huge covered room under the arches of Waterloo in London, we will bring you live screenings of every World Cup match.
There will be Q&A with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live shows and plenty of food and drink will be on offer too.
Come and have the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a free pint – with tickets for the England and Wales group stage matches on sale now HERE!