Watford captain Troy Deeney has questioned whether the path to the England squad for players such as himself from clubs outside the traditional Premier League elite is blocked, highlighting the decision of Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate to keep selecting Danny Welbeck.
Welbeck surprisingly made the cut for the World Cup squad during the summer and was also chosen for the latest England selection. That is despite not being a regular for Arsenal and scoring a measly 16 Premier League goals since he joined the Gunners over four years ago.
Meanwhile, Deeney, who has scored nearly twice that number in one season fewer, Southampton's Danny Ings, Brighton's Glenn Murray, Bournemouth's Callum Wilson and others playing for the more unfashionable clubs in the Premier League continue to be overlooked.
Deeney admitted while appearing on BBC's Premier League Show on Thursday night that he didn't believe four good games at the start of a season was enough for him to merit selection, yet he found Southgate's reason troubling after being told style was the reason for his omission.
"I think his response was interesting, that he's good enough for Watford but not for us," the 30-year-old said. "That message comes across that anyone who plays for a lesser team that doesn't plays a certain style of football isn't going to be good enough for England.
"If you look at a Danny Ings, Glenn Murray, Callum Wilson, we would probably all be arguing well what do I need to be in the team? Because no offence to Danny Welbeck, I've got a lot of time for Danny, he's not playing but he's still being picked, so is it a case of that's just the team?"
Birmingham-born Deeney has not previously represented England at any level and was briefly talked about as potentially being selected by Northern Ireland ahead of Euro 2016 until it became apparent that he was one too many generations removed to be eligible.