Tiemoue Bakayoko was not among Didier Deschamps' 24-man France squad for a pair of international friendlies, and the Chelsea midfielder was candid in his assessment of the decision at the expense of some of his Les Bleus brethren.
"I think (Adrien) Rabiot, Kante, (Blaise) Matuidi, Tolisso aren't better than me," Bakayoko told Canal+, courtesy of ESPN FC. "I respect the coach's choices and I also respect the players selected. They're talented, they're friends.
"I'm proud they've been called up, I'd like to be with them, but I don't think I'm any less than them," the 23-year-old summer signing from Monaco added.
Like Bakayoko, Chelsea teammate N'Golo Kante - who's lacking full fitness after a hamstring worry - did not get the call from Deschamps, though Matuidi, Tolisso, and Rabiot were all in the squad for last week's 2-0 victory over Wales. Sevilla's Steven Nzonzi was also handed a maiden France cap against the Welsh.
If Bakayoko's argument has any merit, it would be with 28-year-old N'Zonzi, and while the Blues ball-stopper doesn't mention the latest two-way midfielder to get the nod from Deschamps, his hopes of appearing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia are no less dashed.
"I'm disappointed. I believe in this World Cup (next summer), it remains a goal. I'm playing for a big club, I think that can work in my favour."