Considering the amount of talent European countries have been producing of late, a hoard of players have been left out in the cold on the international stage. On top of that, a defined national team setup can see them spending most of their time on the bench, regardless of how well-equipped a footballer may be.
Case in point: James Maddison with Gareth Southgate's England team. Like Leicester City's star man, many players have experienced a similar fate at the international level, despite their apparent pedigree.
Players with a criminally low number of international appearances
As stated earlier, 24-year-old Maddison has been gravely underused by Gareth Southgate. His constant injury struggles, coupled with his gaffer's personalized national team structure, have restricted Maddison to a solitary England appearance.
Keeping our focus on the Three Lions, the insane amount of depth they have in defensive positions has dampened the international careers of numerous players. To put things into perspective, Ezri Konsa, Ben Godfrey, Ben White and Fikayo Tomori have a combined five appearances between them.
Similarly, the French squad also appears to be stacked almost all the time. Consistent starters for their clubs, Theo Hernandez and Allan Saint-Maximin, have managed to score one and zero international appearances, respectively.
The lack of opportunities for his national side proved to be so overwhelming for Manchester City centre-half Aymeric Laporte that he ended up switching allegiances. 27-year-old Laporte now defends the Spanish crest on the international stage.
With so many missed opportunities to keep track of, let's take a look at five of the most valuable footballers yet to earn an international cap:
#5 Boubacar Kamara - €38m
Somewhat of an unknown entity compared to the rest of the names on this list, Boubacar Kamara has experienced rapid growth in the youth setup of Marseille. Despite only being 21, Kamara has displayed extreme maturity in his game, accumulating 127 senior appearances with his boyhood club at such a tender age.
With adept defensive midfielders hard to come by, Kamara is currently one of the hottest properties in French football. His proficiency at the base of midfield has garnered a lot of attention from bigger clubs, with a possible move away from the Stade Vélodrom becoming more and more likely.
Even so, the Frenchman has not received an international call-up to date. With N'Golo Kante's heroics keeping any half-decent defensive midfielder away from the French squad, Kamara has been no exception. However, at 21, the talented youngster has ample time to break into the international setup and cement his place at the base of France's midfield.
#4 Wesley Fofana - €40m
Wesley Fofana has encountered a meteoric rise to prominence, nailing a starting berth in a top Premier League side, aged just 20. The highly-rated center-back was bought for a colossal fee of €35m by Leicester City, with many considering the move to be a losing bet.
Nevertheless, in just one season of top-flight English football, Fofana has already silenced his doubters with some solid defensive showings. The Frenchman was a mainstay in the Leicester squad last season as the Foxes cruised to another successful Premier League campaign.
Currently sidelined until 2022 due to a horrid medial ligament injury to his leg, Fofana is yet to receive a call-up to the senior France squad. Didier Deschamps is spoilt for options in the center of defence, with Raphael Varane, Jules Kounde and Presnel Kimpembe being his most prominent choices.
Due to his shaky fitness record and insane competition in the center-half position, Fofana may have to wait a long time to secure an international appearance.