Gareth Southgate admitted the pool of England players available for selection is dwindling as Premier League clubs continue to overlook their young stars.
Southgate named his first squad since the Three Lions reached the World Cup semi-finals on Thursday, with a number of experienced players left out as he looks to prepare the national team for Euro 2020.
Ashley Young, Gary Cahill and Jamie Vardy were all overlooked, while Luke Shaw and Joe Gomez were handed call-ups for the Nations League clash against Spain and a friendly with Switzerland.
However, Southgate is concerned that some members of his squad – like Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Marcus Rashford – have not had much game time in the opening weeks of the Premier League season.
“It has really serious repercussions for our national team,” Southgate told a media conference.
“One of our biggest concerns is playing time for English players, shown by a number of the squad that came with us to Russia not getting opportunities to play. More concerning is that young players that may be coming through to challenge are not getting opportunities to play.
“The missing piece is this transition from youth football to senior football.
— England (@England) August 30, 2018
“There is still this link between 17 to 21 where the bridge into first-team football and the financial power of the Premier League has a big impact.
“I think it’s worth us having that debate and getting people around the table to discuss that missing piece. If players are as good as any young players around the world, then that opportunity needs to be there.
“If we are encouraging young players about entering academies, we are selling them the dream and there’s an ethical element there too.”
Southgate also expressed his worry at the number of goalkeeping options available to him, especially with Jack Butland having dropped into the Championship with Stoke City.
“There are four or five maximum still playing in the Premier League,” he added.
“Obviously Jack has dropped into the Championship and he’s now going to have a challenge to stay in the squad.
“It’s an area where we’d like more competition.”
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