Shay Given has questioned James McCarthy's decision to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad.
The Wigan midfielder will play no part in Tuesday's Carling Nations Cup opener against Wales after opting to remain at the DW Stadium.
The 20-year-old only recently returned to action following a three-month lay-off with an ankle injury and is keen to work on his fitness.
Given accepts that the youngster has to do what he believes is right for his career, but is surprised to see international commitments pushed to one side.
The Manchester City keeper fears modern players are too quick to put their club before their country, with attitudes having changed since he won the first of his 109 caps.
"I don't know what his situation is but, as the manager says, he (McCarthy) is very young," said Given.
"When I was very young I was very excited to be in the squad but maybe young players' mentalities have changed since I was 20 or 21.
"But we would take him with open arms because he is a quality player. We hope he is going to be a big part of the future. I think he will be an important player for us in future and the games coming up.
"Hopefully it is just about growing up - as he gets older and wiser he'll be hungrier.
"But it could be that he is doing rehabilitation work at Wigan this week. A lot goes on that we don't see behind the scenes.
"Maybe he'll be better for Wigan for that next week, as it's only a friendly for ourselves."
Ireland have worked hard to bring Scotland-born McCarthy into their fold and national coach Giovanni Trapattoni admits he is disappointed to be without the youngster against Wales.
"He (McCarthy) has an injury," said the Ireland boss.
"He (Martinez) said Wigan are in a bad position in the table and he said maybe he should stay at home.
"I accept this because Martinez was very clear and I understood him. I wish to have him but I have to respect his opinion. I wouldn't like to be in conflict with the club. We can wait.
"He is young, his time is in the future."