Youngsters overhyped, says Hamann

FORMER Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has warned against the overhyping of young players, following the attention surrounding 20-year-old Wilfried Zaha's first England call-up.

Hamann, who won 59 Germany caps, aired concerns that being shoved into the spotlight too early could hinder the young Crystal Palace forward.

He wrote on Twitter: "I don't like all the hype that's already circling round the kid Zaha… yes he is exceptionally talented but that's all it is so far. Lessons seem not to have been learnt from Walcott a few years ago…"

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has struggled to live up to expectations since his shock inclusion in the 2006 World Cup squad, aged 16.

Hamann also questioned the motives behind including Zaha and Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, who also qualify to play for Ivory Coast and Jamaica respectively.

The ex-Manchester City player added: "If Sterling and Zaha wanted to play for other nations then let them I don't think England should lower themselves [to] calling players up to stop them playing international football elsewhere."