Gareth Southgate says Aaron Wan-Bissaka is not in his most recent England squad because he is not as versatile as his other options at right-back.
Three Lions boss Southgate announced his squad on Thursday for the upcoming friendly with the Republic of Ireland and the Nations League clashes with Belgium and Iceland.
Among his defenders he named numerous right-backs, including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Kyle Walker, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Kieran Trippier.
Crucially, each of these players can also feature in other positions, with Alexander-Arnold and James viable options at wing-back due to their attacking threat.
Elsewhere, Tripper has been used on the left side of defence in recent England games, Walker frequently plays in a central back three and Maitland-Niles can perform in a number of roles.
Meanwhile, Wan-Bissaka is a more limited option as his strength lies in his expert tackling and defensive ability, rather than on the attack.
Explaining the 22-year-old's omission from the squad, Southgate admitted there are players "ahead of" the Manchester United star in the pecking order.
"It's an area of the pitch where we are blessed," the England boss said. "Reece and Trent have both played as wing-backs as well as full-backs. They are in outstanding form and we are probably stronger there than in any other position.
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"Aaron is a very good defender, one against one he's probably as good as I have seen, but I have to look at the balance of the team and currently there are players ahead of him."
Southgate also discussed if Jamie Vardy – who retired from international duty after the 2018 World Cup – could return to the fold.
The Leicester striker opened the door to a potential England return in March and has started the season in scintillating form with seven goals in six Premier League games.
Southgate added: "Jamie is playing as well as any forward in the country, there's no two ways about that.
"We know exactly what he can bring, and he is probably benefiting from having a rest during international breaks rather than joining up with England.
"It would be another matter if we were going into a championship, but at the moment we are not."
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