Adam Johnson has warned any potential England stars to reject the chance to join Manchester City because of the lack of first-team opportunitites on offer at Eastlands.
Johnson was Roberto Mancini's first signing when he joined City from Middlesbrough in January in 2010 but failed to make the impact he hoped and was sold on to Sunderland in the summer.
The winger feels his international prospects were harmed while at City and he believes the door to the first-team will be closed to any rising star - no matter how good.
"Now if I was a young lad I wouldn't go to City," Johnson, who will face City on Saturday, said. "It's not that you're not good enough, it's just that the likes of Yaya Toure are going to play ahead of you no matter what you do.
"I'd advise young, young English players that you won't get the chance to play as much as you like.
"It has turned out that way with recent signings too. It is excellent when a club like City come for you, it's hard to say no. You're going to play for the champions. But you don't actually play for the champions. You're a squad member. It's totally different."
Johnson is hopeful his move to Sunderland will see him thrust back into the international spotlight.
"I missed the World Cup two years ago because I wasn't playing," he said. "I wanted to play every week. It was one of the factors. Coming to Sunderland and playing more would enhance my chances of playing for England more."