Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney believes Tammy Abraham should have had to wait for his England debut.
Abraham has racked up four appearances for the Three Lions to-date, making his debut in October of last year having impressed for Chelsea.
But according to a man who knows a fair bit about scoring goals on the international level, Abraham had a distinct advantage when it came to getting his first senior call-up.
Rooney suggests players who play for Northern clubs have to work a little harder for their opportunity, claiming Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin – who wasn’t given his debut until earlier this month – should have been ahead of Abraham in the line.
“For England, he [Calvert-Lewin] can become an important member of the squad and it’s great seeing him finally recognised at international level,” Rooney wrote in his Times column.
“I’ve always thought young lads from the north have to work harder to get their England opportunities than boys from the big southern clubs.
“I felt Calvert-Lewin deserved his chance before Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham.”
Calvert-Lewin has been in fine form so far this season, scoring 10 times in eight appearances for Everton across all competitions.
And that form is no surprise to Rooney, who added: “Dominic always had it in him and the big question mark was whether he could score consistently enough, but now that is coming through game time.
“When I returned to Everton he was entering his second season with the club. I looked at him in training and thought ‘he has everything’.
“He was quick, strong, good in the air.
“His only downfall was he was snatching at chances. But he was already working hard to correct that and Duncan Ferguson deserves a lot of credit because Duncan (Ferguson) would always stay with him after training and give him finishing drills.”