Dominic Solanke’s struggle for regular game-time at Liverpool is becoming an increasing concern for the England hierarchy.
Aidy Boothroyd, the England under-21s manager, has admitted Solanke’s failure to earn more opportunities under Jurgen Klopp could damage his hopes of an international future.
Solanke, the former Chelsea attacker, is highly regarded by Football Association officials and received a confidence boost on Tuesday when he was invited to train with Gareth Southgate’s senior squad.
But he is yet to feature in any of Klopp’s 18-man squads for Liverpool so far this season and it is understood England are worried that his development is being affected.
Southgate claimed last week that England face the prospect of losing “exceptional players” who are not playing regular competitive football.
And ahead of the under-21’s game against Holland on Thursday, Boothroyd has also weighed into the debate by revealing his fears over Solanke.
“I'm really pleased with Dom but I'm also a little bit worried about him because he is not getting the minutes and not getting the games,” he said.
“I am happy on the pitch picking the best players, but for the good of England and for the good of British football it would be nicer if we had more players playing, certainly better for us and for them.
“Our players have proved they can do it at international level but not as many of them as there should be are getting the opportunity to do that in the Premier League.”
Solanke, 20, made only five starts last season, scoring in the 4-0 win over Brighton in May, while there are also concerns over Phil Foden, the Manchester City midfielder.
Foden and Sancho, who quit City last season to join Borussia Dortmund, were both left out of Boothroyd’s squad and have only appeared as substitutes so far this season.
“There is no real rhyme or reason but a lot of the time, if the players are playing, it helps them get into the under-21 team,” said Boothroyd.
“We have got some fantastic talent but a lot of them haven't had game-time. Young players now are thinking of playing abroad first.
“I admire that for many reasons, I think it is great they want to learn different languages and experience different cultures and different ways of playing but the fact they have got to go abroad to play is a real red flag for the authorities. They will be thinking: “Hang on a minute, why is that happening?”
Boothroyd has revealed that Leicester defender Ben Chilwell, a regular at club level, could be the next youngster to earn promotion into Southgate’s squad.
Chilwell, 20, was the subject of bids from Arsenal and Liverpool before even playing a senior game for Leicester but is now fulfilling his potential under Claude Puel.
Boothroyd said: “Gareth watched Ben at Leicester vs Liverpool and is very much aware of him. If he keeps doing what he is doing then I think will break through
“The difference between Ben this season and last season, I think he has established himself now. He's got his shirt and has to play well to keep it and that has transferred into here. You can see he's got a bit more about him. He's another year older with another year's experience.”
England’s Young Lions are five points ahead of Holland before Thursday’s game and will take a major step towards qualification for Euro 2019 with a win.
Probable: Gunn; Walker-Peters, Fry, Clarke-Salter, Chilwell; Cook, Davies, Mount; Sessegnon, Maddison, Gray.