Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has been accused of arrogance by Trevor Sinclair for snubbing an England Under-21s call-up.
The Blues forward, 20, is among three English players to decline international call-ups this season, alongside Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham.
Gareth Southgate revealed that while youngsters Greenwood and Bellingham are trying to manage their development with busy domestic schedules, Hudson-Odoi is prioritising his club career over playing for England’s youth team.
“He feels he would be best served staking a case for the team with Chelsea. I think he has a better chance of impressing us if he is with the Under-21s as well, frankly,” said the Three Lions boss.
And former England winger Sinclair was disappointed with Hudson-Odoi for turning down the Under-21s.
“The only one I would say is bad is Hudson-Odoi – and I don’t mean to pick him out.
“But rejecting playing for the Under-21s? I had a fantastic time playing for the Under-21s, me and Ray [Parlour] played together.
“You get to meet a lot of the players so, later on in life, when you do make that senior side, you’ve already got that friendship and relationship.
“Hudson-Odoi, for me, I think that’s quite arrogant. A big part of being a footballer and a big reason why you make it is staying humble.
“There’s a lot of ups and downs. When you’re flying, you’re alright, when you’re not doing so well, you’ve got people who have got your back.
“I think Hudson-Odoi saying that he’s not playing for the Under-21s is poor.”
Meanwhile, Sinclair defended Greenwood and Bellingham for asking not to play every game for England this year.
“Greenwood, it’s to do with maturity,” Sinclair added. “He doesn’t feel like he can handle the media attention he’ll get as an England international and I think that’s come from his family, his management.
“With Bellingham, it’s slightly different, I think he realises he’s got a lot of games to play and physically it might not be great for him.”