Former England left-back Ashley Cole questioned Gareth Southgate’s use of Trent Alexander-Arnold following the side’s 2-1 win over Belgium in the Nations League.
Liverpool star Alexander-Arnold played at right wing-back, with Kyle Walker, Eric Dier and Harry Maguire starting in a back-three against Belgium, currently ranked the number one international team on the planet.
Roberto Martinez’s men took the lead as Romelu Lukaku converted from the penalty spot but Marcus Rashford equalised with a spot-kick of his own in the 39th minute before Mason Mount’s deflected strike sealed victory for the hosts.
Alexander-Arnold – who is more used to running from deep on the right side of a back-four with Liverpool – struggled to play his natural attacking game and had to track Timothy Castagne and Yannick Carrasco for long periods at an empty Wembley stadium.
‘I don’t like to see him playing as a wing-back,’ Chelsea legend Cole told Sky Sports shortly after the final whistle.
‘He’s better suited playing from deeper and arriving into areas.’
The ex-Chelsea and Arsenal defender added: ‘With Alexander-Arnold coming into that space, you start to see his range of crosses and passing.
‘He did most of his work chasing the left wing-back, trying to get in behind him, which I don’t think suits him.’
Southgate could be tempted to mix things up when England return to Wembley to face Denmark on Wednesday night, with recognised right-backs Walker, Kieran Tripper and Reece James also in his squad.
Chelsea youngster James made his debut against Wales last week and came on to replace Alexander-Arnold in the 79th minute versus Belgium to earn his second cap for the Three Lions.