Swansea City manager Graham Potter says winger Luciano Narsingh’s first-team absence is due to footballing reasons.
The Dutchman is one of the Swans’ highest earners, with a weekly wage of more than £50,000.
But the 28-year-old has not played a single minute this season.
“If I can be brutally honest, if I was convinced Luciano, or anybody, was going to help us and he was doing enough, then they would play,” said Potter.
“I want to win football matches. I am not here just to pick young players. Ultimately, if they are convincing me every day that they are going to help us win, then they play.”
Narsingh has been overlooked for younger players such as Daniel James and Joel Asoro this season.
The Netherlands international had an offer to join Greek club AEK Athens – who are in the Champions League this season – in the summer transfer window, but decided to stay with Championship side Swansea.
His hopes of playing were not helped by a hamstring injury in October but, even when he has been fully fit, the former PSV Eindhoven player has not figured in Potter’s plans.
Since joining from PSV in January 2017, Narsingh has failed to secure a regular place in the Swans team, starting only 13 matches in all competitions.
When Potter was appointed before the start of this season, the former Ostersunds manager wanted to rebuild Swansea’s squad following their relegation from the Premier League.
“With the negativity that was here at the start you have to somehow change that dynamic and I just felt there was a need for new, young players just to freshen it up so there was something for supporters to get behind,” Potter added.
“I could have played Luciano Narsingh, but then Daniel James would not have played, or maybe Connor Roberts, Bersant Celina and Barrie McKay would not have played as much as they have.
“And ultimately we had an imbalance on that right side which made it more difficult for Luciano, and there are considerations around the finances because we were not sure if he would be going in that first [transfer] window.
“So you are planning for him not to be there and two days before any given day he could be on his way, that was the nature of the timing.
“But, like I say, I have communicated with all the guys and it is nothing personal. They understand the situation, they have been really good around the group.”