Ivan Toney was selected for the England team to face Germany on Monday night, but Gareth Southgate downplayed his chances of playing.
Toney received his first call-up for the UEFA Nations League matches against Germany and Italy.
Southgate could only name 23 players for each game day out of the 28 he chose. One of the unfortunate five who missed the 1-0 loss to Italy was the Brentford striker.
The Three Lions manager received criticism for not giving him a chance, particularly with the World Cup approaching.
He was chosen for the 23-man squad, so that might change for the game on Monday night at Wembley.
Before it became clear he was in, Southgate downplayed his chances of seeing action and opted to consider the long view.
“First and foremost, it has been great for him to be with us and to see how we work,” he said.
“Of course, everybody wants to get into the team and on the pitch, but you have a better chance of doing that well when you’ve been here longer, used to how we play, and comfortable with the other players.
“I think, whatever happens tomorrow [Monday], this has been 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, that was the way Terry Venables embedded me into the group.
“Sometimes we’ve done it that way, sometimes we haven’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 as well.
“He’s very much in the frame. What he does with him club between now and then is very important.”
Southgate was questioned further by talkSPORT reporter Faye Carruthers about the likelihood of Toney playing.
He added: “I would say we haven’t made a decision on what is happening to any of the players yet, we haven’t finalised the team because they’ve just finished training and we are assessing the injuries and what they might be.
“We’ve got a bigger group, so who do we want to involve in this game to keep the squad feeling part of it.
“Then there are individuals who we maybe would like to get on the pitch, and some we maybe wouldn’t.
“There are lots of factors, but there are many things other than one player and Ivan will understand that.
“We will make the decision we believe to be the right one.”