West Ham United legend Sir Trevor Brooking says the Premier League's elite youngsters are getting too much too young.
Brooking, the FA director of football, said rewarding promising teenagers with contracts worth £20,000-a-week was proving counter-productive and responsible for sapping their “hunger, desire and enthusiasm”.
“Players get lots of money too young,” said Brooking. “It’s a big challenge for the clubs to work out how to deal with that.
“If you’re getting paid £20,000 a week at 18 years old it will affect your hunger, desire and enthusiasm.
“We had an Under-17 team that won the European Championship back in 2010 where they beat Spain and France and passed the ball as well as any other young side. We had hoped that one or two of them might come through into the main national side.
“A couple of them have got big contracts and, to be honest, have not kicked on as we were hoping.”