Former England striker Darren Bent has been stunned by the inclusion of defender Harry Maguire in the latest Three Lions squad.
The Manchester United captain has been dropped from Erik ten Hag’s starting XI after a long spell of poor form dating back to last season.
Maguire has been one of the first names on Gareth Southgate’s squad sheet in recent years, but questions persist over his future in the squad ahead of the 2022 World Cup in November.
The 29-year-old defender retained his place in the squad ahead of Nations League matches against Italy and Germany – but Southgate has admitted concerns about the situation at Old Trafford.
He said: “Obviously we have a number of players, including Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips, who don’t play many minutes with their club.
“It’s not ideal, but we think they have been and can be important players for us.
“It’s not a perfect situation but there’s still a lot of football to play before Qatar.”
Former Tottenham striker Bent was frustrated to see Arsenal right-back Ben White overlooked in favor of Maguire.
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White has started every game for the Gunners at the top of the table this season, playing at right-back despite being a centre-half by trade.
“I don’t understand how White isn’t in the team,” Bent told talkSPORT.
“That’s where Southgate frustrates my life.
“He’s played every game for the team that’s currently top of the Premier League table. I know it was right-back, but he’s very good in midfield.
“Maguire, I understand. He never let England down, I understand.
“But if you look at his form last season and the way he started this season, he should be far from the team.
“He’s started three games this season and he’s lost all three.
“How is he in the team? If Southgate wants to choose fit players… why watch club football?
“If you’re not going to choose players in club form, just watch international games then.
“How can Maguire be in the team and White isn’t? Maguire isn’t even playing.