Milutin Sredojevic has commented on the future of Orlando Pirates duo Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga, who have fallen out of favour since his departure.
Mulenga (30) and Shonga (23) were regulars under the management of Sredojevic during his stint at the club but have been afforded just eight league starts combined since his exit in August last year.
Under the guidance of Rhulani Mokwena and Josef Zinnbauer, neither managed to cement their places in the Pirates attack and 'Micho' concedes their international futures with Zambia are now in jeopardy.
Scroll through the gallery below to see where Shonga ranks amongst Pirates most valuable players
"They need to earn and deserve call-ups and we need to clarify this no matter where Zambian players are playing," the Zambia head coach tells KickOff.com.
"Whether it's in Lubumbashi, Stellenbosch, Orlando Pirates or any other team, I have my invisible eyes that supply me with technical information that are telling me the real state and condition of each player.
"This is so that no player has an automatic selection even if you have a history with them, thank you for everything that we've been through together but there's no automatic call-up, I always select on merit."
The former Zamalek boss, who signed a two-year deal with Chipolopolo this month, went on to elaborate on his selection process while dispelling the notion his history with the Pirates duo will count for something.
"In the network of friends I have across the continent I have planted 'technical eyes' to offer honest and accurate assessments of the talent pool available for Zambia selection.
"I will never bring players to the squad just because I can say 'I know them' and they know me, I want to rely on their mental state, physical fitness and tactical competitiveness at the given moment."
Sredojevic's first task with Zambia will be a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Botswana on 23 March.