Gareth Southgate, England interviewGetty

Southgate squad selection 'confusing', says former England star Wright-Phillips

Former England star Shaun Wright-Phillips labeled Gareth Southgate's squad selection as "confusing" ahead of the Euros this summer.

Southgate initially selected four right-backs in his squad, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker all picked by the England boss over midfielder options such as James Ward-Prowse and Jesse Lingard.

Unfortunately for Alexander-Arnold, an injury has ruled him out of the tournament, with Southgate instead turning to Brighton's Ben White.

Article continues below

What did Wright-Phillips say?

“When I saw the squad with four right-backs it was quite confusing to be honest," he told SBK Sportsbook. "I can understand why he’s doing it but at the same time I feel people like Ward-Prowse and Jesse deserved a place to balance out the squad.

"I’m obviously not the person to make that decision but that was the only surprise to me. I think what’s amazing about this team, especially across the front five or six, they can all have an impact off the bench, so I feel like there will be a bit of rotation. I think Southgate’s got a nice problem on his hands.

'I'd prefer to play against Shaw'

As a former winger, Wright-Phillips was also asked to compare England's left-backs Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell.

And, despite his incredible campaign with Manchester United this past season, Wright-Phillips says he believes he'd fare best going against Shaw if he had to choose.

“I think the way Chilly [Ben Chilwell] defends, he stands up, very rarely takes chances," he said. "He would be a harder match.

"Luke Shaw I would prefer to play against. I think he does fall asleep sometimes and lose his position and when he does venture forward he doesn’t have the same qualities as Chilly does.

"Chilly plays more like a defensive winger, whereas I think Shaw’s just a defender that can go forward. But I’d rather play against Luke Shaw.”

Further reading