Gareth Southgate insists Kyle Walker's omission from the latest England squad does not mean his international career is over.
The Manchester City defender was overlooked for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo despite making a strong start to the season at club level.
Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold, Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the recalled Kieran Trippier all made the cut ahead of 29-year-old Walker, an integral member of the side that reached the World Cup semi-finals last year.
Southgate wants to continue developing the international pedigree of younger options but denied a pecking order has now been established.
"It depends on how well everybody does," the Three Lions boss told a news conference.
"I have not said to Kyle that that's it. I think that it was a bit different with [Ashley] Young last year, where we recognised that we were going to have to move forward and unless we were in real difficulty, we wouldn't go back. Kyle is not at that age.
"But I think these [young] guys, I want to have a look at in games that are a good stepping stone for them.
"Without getting Trent's head too big too quickly, he's got to be one of those we look to integrate and give more opportunity to.
"So it's a bit like at a club, if we don't make a pathway then when are you ever going to put them in?
"With Aaron we've got a completely different kind of player, so we've got Trips as a bit of cover around that and there's no point bringing Kyle in if the intention is not to start him in the games.
"He's a senior player and he'll value the rest and recovery as much as anything else."