Joey Barton has questioned the decision to hand Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha a maiden call-up to the senior England squad.
Following a string of injuries to several Three Lions stars, the Ivory Coast-born attacker was drafted into Roy Hodgson’s squad for the first time on Sunday to meet Sweden in an international friendly on Wednesday.
But Barton, whose only England cap came back in 2007, believes the FA have made the move in order to prevent Zaha being capped by the country of his birth.
“Not a fan of the latest craze, giving caps out so as players don’t go and play for other countries. Doesn’t sit well with me that…,” he tweeted.
“I’m not on about Sterling, I’m on about Zaha. Not played in the Prem yet. Nolan scored more Prem goals, yet don’t get a look in? Baffles me.”
The Marseille loanee also expressed disappointment at former Newcastle midfield partner Kevin Nolan’s continued omission from the England set-up.
“Good to see Leon Osman get a call up, about time. My brain is asking why no Kevin Nolan? Surely, he warrants a call up more than most?” he said.
“On Premier League goals alone, consistently for the last 8 yrs, he deserves at least a call up.
“Osman (has been a) good player in the last few years. But he’s 32 and isn’t gonna improve an average side. If they’re giving out charity caps, all I am saying is, Nolan should have had a call up years ago. As for me, well that’s something entirely different. Let’s not go there.”