England Under-21s manager Stuart Pearce is in no doubt Fulham defender Chris Smalling has a big future.
The 19-year-old is expected to retain his place in central defence against Lithuania in Vilnius on Tuesday night having impressed alongside Manchester City's Micah Richards in 1-0 win over Portugal on Saturday, in what was his first start under Pearce.
"Chris has impressed me everyday in training and have been saying for the last two or three matches that I have to get him a game," said Pearce.
"Maybe he was fortunate that James Tomkins was out injured, but he certainly took his chance."
Pearce continued: "Next he has to break into the Fulham side.
"To be fair with Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes, they have got two very sturdy central defenders.
"But all the experience we can give him will help him as a player.
"He will improve, there is no doubt in my mind about that, because when you tell him to do things, he takes them on board and does them.
"Chris is a very bright kid, listens and that gives you something to work with."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms