Michael Mancienne believes England's youngsters would have progressed in the European Under-21 Championship had Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll played.
Head coach Stuart Pearce was without the pair in Denmark as Arsenal youngster Wilshere pulled out of the squad while Carroll missed out due to a thigh injury.
Wilshere is regarded as one of the country's brightest talents, however, he opted against playing in the tournament as he wanted to rest during the summer.
England's Under-21s dramatically crashed out of the competition on Sunday evening following a late 2-1 defeat to Czech Republic that saw the team fail to progress beyond the group stage.
Mancienne, who is joining Hamburg next month, feels that with the duo on board then Pearce's men would still be in the tournament.
"The type of player he is, he's very creative, so he would have made a big difference," said Mancienne of Wilshere.
"We would have gone through if we'd had the likes of Jack and Andy Carroll here."
Wilshere's absence highlighted the dearth of technical ability possessed by English midfielders compared to other countries.
Mancienne initially claimed this was not the case but added, tellingly: "Obviously, they play a different type of football to us, they're really good at keeping the ball.
"Our game was to counter-attack. We could have done better in the first two games and probably wouldn't have to be in this situation."