It's the kind of comment that could easily be passed without correction, especially in the wave of nostalgia brought about by Jack Charlton's death.
Why do we not see Ireland players scoring at the big venues like Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford these days?
We do actually. His name is Michael Obafemi, and his ability to pop up with goals against opponents of substance should make people sit up and take notice.
Obafemi hasn't generated the same hype in these parts as Troy Parrott, Aaron Connolly or Adam Idah.
There are probably a few reasons for that. Obafemi was born in Ireland to Nigerian parents in the year 2000 but moved to London as a toddler, so the coaches that steered him through his formative stages don't walk among us.
Indeed, his emergence raises another question. A player born after June 2004 embarking on a similar path in life wouldn't be eligible to pull on the green shirt.
The majority of the electorate agreed with a referendum supported by then Minister for Justice Michael McDowell which proposed that people born in Ireland should not be automatically entitled to citizenship. It is a point that will be stressed should he ever become a national hero.
But another reason that Obafemi hasn't generated the same discussion is that his international attendance record has been blighted by injuries. He didn't spend enough time in Stephen Kenny's U-21 dressing room to earn first-choice status.
Martin O'Neill did cap him in his final act - to avoid English and Nigerian attention - but the speedster has remained below the radar in the hype surrounding the new generation, even though his club have continued to trust him against top teams.
Obafemi's injury-time strike against Manchester United on Monday was his third of the season, following on from another important strike at Chelsea and a consolation goal against West Ham. He also bagged a League Cup goal at Fulham. In away games, where the onus is often on counter attack, the 20-year-old's attributes have come to the fore.
Perhaps another factor in the low-key reaction to Obafemi's rise is that his manager, the impressive Ralph Hasenhuttl, hasn't been afraid to offer some home truths.
The 52-year-old has proven himself to be a resilient character, bouncing back from that 9-0 humiliation at Leicester to produce consistent results that have explained his appointment in the first place.
And while his selection policy highlights his faith in Obafemi, he has never shied away from expressing dissatisfaction with aspects of his development. Strange as it may sound for a youngster that is outperforming millions of budding athletes by reaching his current status, there's been a stop-start element to his rise up the ranks.
"He still has a lack of professionalism in his whole life," said Hasenhuttl last November, after Obafemi hinted that he deserved more game-time.
"This is a young guy who must learn quickly. If he does this and gets more physical and fit, then he has a big future."
Persistent hamstring problems had halted Obafemi's progress and it was no secret the boss believed the attacker had an important role to play in overcoming it.
A fortnight ago, the Saints supremo went down that road again by suggesting Obafemi was minding himself when playing a second fixture in quick succession.
"Without workload as a striker, you have no chance to play, especially in our team," he said.
"It's always a problem that we have to pay attention to his physicality and we really have to take care of him. But that doesn't mean in the second game that he can rest on the pitch. It's important that he knows he has to invest a lot."
Some managers are subtle about sending messages through the media. In this instance, Hasenhuttl has taken a more blunt approach. He was thrilled for Obafemi after his headline-grabbing cameo against Manchester United, acknowledging that "he doesn't always have it easy with me because I'm very demanding of him".
His comfort in a front two, when Stephen Kenny is unlikely to deploy that system in the short term, means that his Ireland journey may be slow moving.
However, his club manager's unforgiving stance is geared towards making this a longer-term success story.