Gary Neville has told Trent Alexander-Arnold that he needs to "take his defending more seriously."
The Liverpool full-back's England snub, according to Neville, could foreshadow what happens ahead of Euro 2020 this summer.
Alexander-Arnold was unexpectedly left out of England's World Cup qualifying squads against San Marino, Albania, and Poland, with Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, and Reece James taking his place.
Gareth Southgate's decision has sparked debate over where Alexander-Arnold fits into the England manager's plans ahead of the European Championships, with Neville speculating that the 22-year-old might be left at home.
The former Manchester United and England defender said on Sky Sports: "I don't think he will include him, I think leaving him out of the March and April friendlies are a precursor to leaving him out in the summer.
"I don't think he would have just dropped that bombshell, I think he's getting everyone used to the fact that this incredible talent is maybe not going to a tournament unless Walker, Trippier, or James get injured.
"When I watch Trent Alexander-Arnold, the opposition manager will think 'attack down that side'. He has to become more serious about his defending.
"In a one-off game in a tournament, a quarter-final or a semi-final, who are England going to be playing? They're going to be playing Germany, Belgium France, or Portugal.
"Who's he going to be playing against? Eden Hazard, Leroy Sane, Kylian Mbappe, Diogo Jota or Cristiano Ronaldo. Who do they want to play against? They'll say 'I'll let Trent go on, he'll leave space in behind, I'll have Trent'.
"I trust Gareth with this England squad. He's been to so many tournaments as a player, he's the only living manager that has got England to a World Cup semi-final and he's got to win one-off games that will be decided in moments.
"I think the reason he won't take him is he's there to win a tournament and I think he'll take the players he can trust like Walker, Trippier, maybe James because he's got more power and strength to handle a Mbappe or Ronaldo."
Although Neville maintained that if he were in charge, he would choose Alexander-Arnold himself, the debate with fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher became heated.
The former Liverpool and England defender said: "If you pick Kieran Trippier ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold, that's embarrassing."