Roy Hodgson is worried Barclays Premier League clubs are too scared to take a gamble on young English players.
New records were broken during this summer's transfer window, but one old trend remained.
Of the £835million spent by top-flight sides during the summer, a staggering £530million went to foreign clubs.
Chelsea and Manchester City spent big on Diego Costa and Eliaquim Mangala respectively, while Manchester United signed Monaco striker Radamel Falcao at the expense of homegrown talent Danny Welbeck, who was sold to Arsenal for £16million.
Saints are a club that won widespread praise last season for promoting English talent.
The likes of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Jay Rodriguez all made their senior England international debuts, while James Ward-Prowse, Nathaniel Clyne, Calum Chambers and Jack Cork were also regulars at times.
There could be a slight change at St Mary’s under Ronald Koeman, though, as just two of his eight summer transfer window signings are English – goalkeeper Fraser Forster and loanee left back Ryan Bertrand.
Koeman’s Saints could end up being more cosmopolitan than Mauricio Pochettino’s regular XI.
Ever the diplomat, Hodgson knows it would be foolish for him to enter into a war of words with the Premier League.
Having managed a host of English clubs in the past, he knows exactly what kind of pressure top-flight coaches are under to deliver.
But there was no hiding his unease when he spoke this week about a blockage caused by foreign imports around the edges of top Premier League squads.
“The major problem is the pathway,” the England manager said.
“Our academies are doing some good work. There are some good players going through those academies, and the bulk of those are English.
“My fear is we've seen players come through in the past and they're very good at breaking into the under-21s, and getting a sniff at the first-team, but then a vacancy in the first-team comes along, through a player being sold or injured, they've been given a chance.
“But now, with the money the clubs have at their disposal, they are always going to be tempted to not take the chance they would have done in the past if a player was out for a month or two when they had ‘a kid called Wayne Rooney or David Beckham, he looks pretty useful, let’s stick him in’.
“I fear they’ll say, 'Let’s keep him back a bit longer and buy a top-class foreign player’.”
Youth and experience will be prevalent among the England side tonight when they take on Norway in the first match since their disappointing World Cup campaign.
Hodgson revealed his XI to play at Wembley, which is expected to be less than half full for the first time since it reopened in 2007.
John Stones will make his full England debut in a four-man defence which also contains Phil Jones, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines.
Joe Hart will start in goal while Hodgson will deploy a four-strong midfield of Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and ex-Saint Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Up front, new captain Wayne Rooney will be partnered by Daniel Sturridge.