Danny Drinkwater was heavily criticised by England supporters last week after Gareth Southgate revealed the Chelsea midfielder declined a call-up for the friendly matches against Germany and Brazil.
"I wanted to find out where he felt he was," Southgate told reporters, per BBC Sport. "He felt he wasn't ready yet to play this level.
"If Danny didn't feel he was ready for that I can understand it given the amount of minutes he's had and he didn't play at the end of the season with Leicester either."
Drinkwater has only played 22 minutes of Premier League football this season and 41 minutes overall because of a thigh problem.
However, many England fans feel that the 27-year-old should have gratefully accepted Southgate’s invitation to represent his country.
Here are just a few of the tweets that outraged England fans posted after hearing that Drinkwater had snubbed his call-up…
Alan Shearer reacts to Drinkwater's snub
Former England captain Alan Shearer has focused on Drinkwater’s decision in his latest column for The Sun.
He believes, like some England fans, that the former Leicester City star should never be picked for his national team again.
“I cannot question players withdrawing from international duty claiming they are injured,” Shearer wrote. “I wonder sometimes if it were the World Cup final whether those pulls and twinges would heal quicker? But there you go.
“The one thing I do question is a player apparently refusing a call-up because he claims he has not played enough football.
“Danny Drinkwater, what were you thinking? If you have not played enough football, take the opportunity to play some!
“Going forward he is not the sort of person I would want in my squad. Given that attitude he shouldn’t be picked again.”
“It is England v Germany at Wembley for crying out loud,” he added. “Most players in my era would have given anything for that opportunity . . . yes, even to be on the bench.”
Vardy: Drinkwater does want to play for England
Jamie Vardy has defended his former Leicester teammate, insisting the midfielder ‘definitely’ wants to play for his country.
"He has been struggling to get a bit of match-time," Vardy was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. "He was injured and he needs to get the match sharpness back. He has been doing that in recent weeks for Chelsea and he needs to keep building that up.
"He definitely wants to play for his country."
Try telling Shearer that.