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Gareth Southgate ‘Disappointed’ With Ben Chilwell Following Full-Back’s Surprise Early Return From Injury

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Chilwell’s England spot could be under threat | Marc Atkins/Getty Images
Ben Chilwell could have a fight on his hands to regain his England starting berth, with the full-back poised to play for Chelsea six days after hobbling off during his country’s Nations League defeat to Belgium.

The 23-year-old was making his first Three Lions appearance for a year during Sunday’s loss to the world’s top ranked side, but departed the field after 38 minutes with a back injury.

Chilwell was substituted before half time against Belgium | John Berry/Getty Images

However, he is expected to be fit for Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Newcastle on Saturday.

According to the Daily Mail, England boss Gareth Southgate was left ‘disappointed’ after Chilwell limped off before half time during the Nations League fixture.

Should the left back feature against Newcastle, this will ‘harden the suspicion’ that he could have stayed on the pitch during England’s loss to Belgium.

“He had some sort of issue with his back that he was complaining about and he didn’t feel he could carry on,” Southgate said at full time [via the Metro]. “Outside of that I can’t give you any detail at the moment.”

Chilwell has 12 caps for England | Soccrates Images/Getty Images
Chilwell was named in England’s squad for their final Nations League group game – a 4-0 win over Iceland – but remained an unused substitute.

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka took over the left back role and impressed at Wembley. Although England are considerably shorter on left back options in comparison to the other flank, Chilwell also faces competition from Keiran Trippier and Ainsley Maitland-Niles for a starting spot.

Southgate had suggested that some players could be under pressure from their clubs to miss the Three Lions’ clash with Iceland, given it was a dead rubber and Premier League teams are having to contend with an intense domestic fixture schedule.

“We will find out a lot now because for sure there will be pressure from some clubs on their own players,” Southgate said. “That is what we live with constantly but we have players who want to play for England and we have pride in the way we play and we want to finish well.”

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