England boss Southgate clarifies Chilwell injury problem

England boss Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Ben Chilwell went off against Belgium because of a back problem.

The Chelsea left-back, who has previously been troubled by a foot injury, had to be withdrawn during the first half of England’s 2-0 Nations League defeat.

He left the field holding his back and Southgate has confirmed the nature of the injury, although no further details have been given and it is not yet clear whether Chilwell is likely to be available for Chelsea’s Premier League match against Newcastle this weekend.

Asked about Chilwell at a press conference, Southgate said: “He had some sort of issue with his back. He didn’t feel he could carry on.”

Chilwell’s Chelsea team-mate Mason Mount also featured but had a frustrating night before being taken off in the second half.

Southgate has switched to a 3-5-2 formation for recent games and in Belgium he deployed Jordan Henderson and Declan Rice as defensive midfielders.

It’s a system former Chelsea and England left-back Ashley Cole believes is hampering the more attack-minded players.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Cole said: “You’ve got Henderson in front (of the defence) with Declan Rice. Maybe I would like to see someone a little bit better on the ball – forward passing, keep it ticking a little bit.

“When Harry Winks came on I think he opened the game up a little bit. There was a little bit more forward passing.

“I’m just not thrilled about this formation, to be honest.”

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