Roy Hodgson has denied claims he called up rising star Wilfried Zaha in an attempt to persuade him to shun Ivory Coast.
The Crystal Palace ace was born in the African nation and, while set to make his Three Lions debut in tomorrow’s friendly against Sweden, has stated that he remains torn as to which country he will pledge his international allegiance.
The 20-year-old, who has played for England's under-age sides, will not be bound to Hodgson's team should he appear tomorrow because it is not a competitive fixture.
And Hodgson claims he made it clear that he expected any player to have gone through the full Three Lions’ youth system to welcome a call-up to the full nation team, adding any player who did not was not welcome in his squad.
"If any players prefer to play for a national team other than England they are welcome to do so," he said.
"If our national team is not strong enough motivation for them then that they are not the type of player we want anyway.
"Perhaps I naively assume that when you give a player who has played for the Under-19s and Under-21s that they would want to play for the national team.
"I'd expect them to cycle there. I'd expect they'd be thankful for the opportunity."
Hodgson dismissed suggestions Zaha's call-up was made to try to help tie him down to England.
Zaha has hit the headlines with Crystal Palace this season but Hodgson said the player had long been in his plans, revealing he had tracked him since he was boss at West Brom.
"He has not been chosen on the basis of one short training session," he said.
"He has been selected on the basis of the past couple of years. He was a target of West Brom when I was there.
"I know what qualities he brings.
"When the opportunity arose with a gap in the squad to bring him it was an obvious chance to bring him in."