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Jude Bellingham set for World Cup audition as he looks take advantage of a missing Kalvin Phillips

Jude Bellingham to audition for World Cup for two games in England’s Nations League games… with Gareth Southgate planning to give Dortmund star a chance to impress against Italy and Germany

  • Gareth Southgate will play the teenager in both Nations League matches
  • Kalvin Phillips withdrew from this month’s squad after another shoulder injury
  • England new boy Ivan Toney laughs off Arsenal’s Twitter banter aimed at the star
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Gareth Southgate is ready to give Jude Bellingham a two-match World Cup audition against Italy and Germany amid fitness concerns over Kalvin Phillips.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Bellingham sat out training yesterday, with Jordan Henderson – added to the squad as a replacement for Phillips – and England’s Declan Rice handling the trio’s workload. Whether Bellingham is ready to start Friday’s game against Italy in Milan depends on him playing a full role in training today.

Nevertheless, Southgate plans to give Bellingham, 19, ample opportunity against the Italians and in Monday’s visit to Germany as he finalizes his World Cup plan.

Teenager Jude Bellingham is set for a World Cup audition in this week's Nations League fixtures
Teenager Jude Bellingham is set for a World Cup audition in this week's Nations League fixtures

Teenager Jude Bellingham is set for a World Cup audition in this week’s Nations League fixtures

Kalvin Phillips was forced to withdraw from the squad after suffering another shoulder injury
Kalvin Phillips was forced to withdraw from the squad after suffering another shoulder injury

Kalvin Phillips was forced to withdraw from the squad after suffering another shoulder injury

Phillips is missing this camp – the last before Southgate names his squad – due to a shoulder complaint that will require surgery.

If the 26-year-old undergoes surgery in the coming days, it is believed he will recover in time for England’s World Cup opener against Iran on November 21. However, it is unknown whether Phillips is fit or sharp enough to start the tournament.

Southgate believes Bellingham is capable of filling Phillips’ position in the team if the City midfielder goes into Qatar with fitness problems and feels the two upcoming Nations League games will provide a suitable chance to test the teenager in the role.

Meanwhile, England new boy Ivan Toney has hit back at Arsenal players after they mocked him on social media.

Ivan Toney laughed off Arsenal's social backlash and celebrated his first England call-up
Ivan Toney laughed off Arsenal's social backlash and celebrated his first England call-up

Ivan Toney laughed off Arsenal’s social backlash and celebrated his first England call-up

Toney infamously tweeted ‘Nice kickabout with the boys’ after Brentford’s opening win over the Gunners last season.

Alexandre Lacazette got his own back last season by mimicking Toney’s tweet after Arsenal beat Brentford 2-1 in the second leg. Gabriel Magalhaes also chimed in just hours after the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Brentford on Sunday by sending his own identical tweet.

And yesterday Toney (below) said: ‘I think one time was funny, the other time a bit cringy, but I bit my tongue.

‘I would answer, I would nab, but fair play to them, they played very well.’

On his England call-up, Toney added: ‘I’ve always had the mindset (that I can play for England). If you manifest it, you always have a great chance to do it.

– I’ve always had the mindset that one day I want to be a Premier League player, and now I’m a Premier League player and an England international. From a young age I believed in myself, I believed in my abilities.’

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