Jadon Sancho had not been playing regularly enough for Manchester United to warrant an England call-up, according to Gareth Southgate, though he backed the young winger to break his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's starting line-up.
Sancho has found himself among the substitutes recently after struggling to hit the ground running at Old Trafford following his £73m move from Borussia Dortmund during the summer.
The 21-year-old was included in Southgate's squad for the October internationals but the England manager admitted that his performances and playing time would need to improve in order for him to retain his place in future camps.
Sancho has since fallen behind Mason Greenwood and the returning Marcus Rashford in the United pecking order and Southgate felt that he had to select players who were playing regularly, as England look to book their place at the 2022 World Cup.
"There were a few things last time in that hadn't been on the pitch for us since the Euros so I wanted that to be out the way for him as well and to be able to move on from that," the England manager said regarding Sancho.
"Now, there are only two games this time. We're in a situation where September we had three. Last month two, but we were quite clear on on how we were going to distribute the time.
"We've got to win these games and to expect him to be able to come in and hit the level that we need without really knowing quite where he's at at the moment is a bit unrealistic we feel as a group of coaches watching him play. We can support and back but in the end, you can't do that forever.
Southgate added: "There's got to be a point at which you say okay, the route here is that we've got to bring in different players who are playing regularly, who can perform for us this time around."
"There's no point in carrying lads if we don't think we're going to use them because they're better to be at the club in training, a full training week rather than a training week that's disrupted by the games and a different physical load.
"He's got a specific challenge at the moment because the club has changed shape with the team, but I'm sure that will be a short term thing and with the number of games they've got, he'll be able to force his way back in."
Sancho started United's 4-2 defeat to Leicester City following the last international break but was replaced after the hour mark, with his only appearances since coming off the bench against Atalanta home and away in the Champions League.
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