Ex-England striker Darren Bent was left dumbfounded at defender Harry Maguire being included in the latest Three Lions squad.
The Manchester United captain has been dropped from Erik ten Hag’s starting XI following a prolonged run of poor form dating back to last season.
Maguire has been one of the first names on Gareth Southgate’s team sheet in recent years, but questions persist over his future in the side ahead of the 2022 World Cup in November.
The 29-year-old defender kept his place in the squad ahead of Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany – but Southgate did admit concerns over the situation at Old Trafford.
He said: “Clearly, we have a number of players including Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips who are not playing a lot of minutes with their club.
“It is not ideal, but we feel they have been, and can be, important players for us.
“It is not a perfect situation but there is still a lot of football to be played before Qatar.”
Ex-Tottenham striker Bent was frustrated to see Arsenal right-back Ben White overlooked in favour of Maguire.
White has started every game for the table-topping Gunners this season, starring at right-back despite being a centre-half by trade.
“I don’t understand how White isn’t in the squad,” Bent told talkSPORT.
“This is where Southgate frustrates the life out of me.
“He has played every single game for the team who currently sit top of the Premier League table. I know it’s been at right-back, but he is very good at centre-half.
“Maguire, I get it. He’s never let England down, I get that.
“But if you look at his form last season and the way he started this season, he should be nowhere near the squad.
“He’s started three games this season and he’s lost all three.
“How is he in the squad? If Southgate wants to pick players on form… why watch club football?
“If you’re not going to pick players on club form, just watch international games then.
“How can Maguire be in the squad and White is not? Maguire isn’t even playing.”