Michael Owen has urged Luke Shaw to leave Southampton this summer, and believes he has what it takes to make the step up to a big club amid reported interest from Manchester United and Chelsea.
The Daily Star reports how the 18-year-old left-back - who was a surprise inclusion in Roy Hodgson's 23-man England squad for the World Cup in Brazil - has been the subject of intense transfer speculation for many months, with a host of leading Premier League clubs courting his signature.
Manchester United are on the lookout for a long-term replacement for Patrice Evra at Old Trafford, and are believed to have already lodged a bid for the teenager after Sunday's final game of the 2013/14 campaign at St Mary's.
However, the fact the Red Devils are yet to appoint a permanent successor to David Moyes could deter Shaw from committing his future to the club.
Jose Mourinho has also been mooted as an admirer of the Saints star, but might not be able to guarantee the Three Lions ace regular first-team football at Stamford Bridge, given the fine form of Cesar Azpilicueta on the left side of Chelsea's defence this term.
Nonetheless, Owen believes that Shaw should jump at the opportunity to join one of the country's most illustrious clubs, and says the fact he's made more than 50 appearances in the top flight already for Southampton as proof he has what it takes to make the step up.
"I think it's always good to keep progressing up the ladder and to play at the highest standard," explained the retired striker, who also burst onto the international scene with England at 18 in the 1998 World Cup.
"And once you have had the experience that Luke Shaw has had in the Premier League, I think you are certainly ready for that challenge now.
"Having had the first-team experience he has, and now going to a World Cup, I'd say he is more than ready to join a really big club - if Southampton let him go."