Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp hailed Jermain Defoe as the finest finisher available to England boss Fabio Capello after his striker produced the best individual goalscoring performance in the Premier League for a decade.
Defoe struck five times in the 9-1 demolition of Wigan at White Hart Lane on Sunday, matching Alan Shearer's haul for Newcastle against Sheffield Wednesday in 1999.
"He's an amazing finisher," said Redknapp. "When you look at England strikers, Wayne Rooney's fantastic - a complete all-round player - but as a finisher, Defoe is the best out there."
Capello has not always automatically chosen Defoe but the 27-year-old is putting forward a compelling case to go to the World Cup next year after the misery of missing out in favour of Theo Walcott in 2006.
But Redknapp added: "I'm sure he'll go to the World Cup. Fabio Capello will see the goals he's scored, the way he's got stronger this season and is using his upper body strength a bit more and holding people off, and he will be impressed.
"This could be a great season for him."
Peter Crouch, Aaron Lennon and Niko Kranjcar also netted against Wigan, while David Bentley's free-kick went in after hitting the bar and rebounding off Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, who had a decent game despite the scoreline.
Defoe put his shooting boots on after a last-minute change of footwear in the warm-up.
"I had a funny feeling before the game," Defoe said. "Adidas gave me a pair of green boots and I tried them on before the game, but Clive Allen said I couldn't wear them, so I changed them. They were pinkish silver ones in the end, and I go and score five."
Defoe paid tribute to Lennon for his assists, adding: "Azza made the difference. He's so direct. When you've got someone with that pace in the team, he's so direct it's just easy for everyone."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.