Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell may be fit to face Newcastle United at the weekend after returning to England training on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old won his fifth cap for the Three Lions when they went down 2-0 to Belgium on Sunday. Gareth Southgate’s men had already conceded twice when the left-back began to struggle with a back spasm.
He was forced off the pitch on 38 minutes, with Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka the man to fill the void. Chilwell always appeared confident that it was not a serious issue and seems to have been proved right.
He has been in regular contact with Blues’ management and should be fine to face the Magpies.
England have one more match to play – against Iceland on Wednesday – but cannot qualify for the Nations League semi-finals. They sit third in Group A2, with Belgium or Denmark set to take a last-four berth from the group.
With that in mind, Southgate might opt to rest some senior stars and give a few youngsters some experience. The boss gave an update on Chilwell’s condition on Tuesday.
He said: “We will keep checking on Ben Chilwell as he keeps having treatment on a back issue from the other day. But everyone else has no problem.”
Chilwell feels the back spasm may have occurred due to the amount of travelling he has had to do. That is according to Telegraph reporter Matt Law, with Saka an option to remain in the starting XI.
Southgate expects clubs to make some noise
Southgate has already alluded to the fact that clubs will pressurise him into resting their players. With nothing but pride on the line against Iceland, those with niggles could be spared an outing.
The manager sympathises but has made it clear there will be no easy caps handed out under his watch.
“We will find out a lot now because for sure there will be pressure from some clubs on their own players,” he added. “That is what we live with constantly but we have players who want to play for England and we have pride in the way we play and we want to finish well.”
Either Emerson Palmieri or Cesar Azpilicueta will step in for Chilwell if he does not make it at the weekend. However, Frank Lampard would love the former Leicester man in his ranks after a stellar start at Stamford Bridge.
He has scored two goals and provided two assists in ten appearances for the fifth-placed west Londoners.
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