Danny Welbeck has called Rio Ferdinand the ‘Rolls Royce’ of defenders, despite the England international missing out on selection for the Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro this Friday night.
Ferdinand has struggled with injuries for both club and country this season, and after disappointing performances for Manchester United over the past couple of weeks, Fabio Capello has chosen Phil Jones ahead of the stalwart to represent the Three Lions this weekend.
But Welbeck insists that Ferdinand will come back stronger than ever as he continues to settle back into playing full time.
When asked if Ferdinand’s England career was over, Welbeck said: "That's not for me to say, but we all know what capabilities Rio has got.
"He is a great reader of the game and to me he is like a Rolls-Royce of a defender. It is wrong to write him off because he is a great defender."
Welbeck expressed delight at being a part of the 24-man squad, in what would be his first competitive match at senior international level.
"I'm really looking forward to it. It's exciting times, obviously to be involved in my first competitive game. I'm delighted,” Welbeck said.
"There is great competition throughout the whole nation. You come here to train with the best players and to hopefully be involved in Friday's game.
"But we have got great talent all over the squad and there are players who aren't even here that have got great talent as well.
"So just to be in the 24-man squad, I'm delighted with that."
England need to draw with Montenegro to secure qualification for the 2012 European Championships next year, but Capello has insisted that the side are playing to win.
"We are going to win this game, not for the draw," Capello said.
"If you play for a draw it is a big mistake. You are not focused on the game. You are playing to defend the result. When you do that you make some silly mistakes. You need to play the same style as all the other away games."