Michael Carrick is sure Harry Kane will be an England star for many years to come.
Striker Kane earned his first international call-up last week after netting 29 goals for Tottenham.
The 21-year-old began the season as Spurs’ third-choice forward, but he has been the most prolific English frontman in the Premier League so far this term.
The Tottenham man did not look out of place at all during his first full training session with the national side at St George’s Park yesterday and, barring a subsequent injury, will make his England debut against Lithuania or Italy.
Carrick has been most impressed by how Kane has dealt with the pressure of being branded the next big thing in English football.
And for that reason, the Manchester United midfielder is convinced Kane will be able to transfer his domestic form on to the international stage.
“The progress he has made has been sensational from the start of the season to the level that he is at now,” Carrick said.
“He has gone up two or three levels and the thing that has impressed me most about him is that, as the spotlight has grown and expectations have grown, he has grown and his performances have improved and improved, and that is a really good sign.
“It by no means looks like this is a one-off season. He looks like the real deal. I am sure he has a big, big future ahead of him.”
England head coach Roy Hodgson now has to decide whether to start Kane in Friday’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley or delay his first start until the friendly in Turin four days later.
The early signs for Kane appeared to look good.
Photographers spotted the England manager was going to pair Kane with Wayne Rooney up front in a drill when he pulled out a piece of paper with tactical diagrams on it before training.
But Hodgson is also known to be loyal to players who have served him well in the past and it would not be a surprise if he selected Danny Welbeck and Rooney up front on Friday.
Whoever starts, Carrick thinks Hodgson has enough attacking options to strike fear into the hearts of any opponent.
“Going forward we have an abundance of talent,” Carrick said.
“I think when you are at that level like the boys are they can play with each other no problem, they can work off each other.
“They are clever enough, whoever plays whether it’s Welbz (Danny Welbeck), Wayne, Harry or Raheem (Sterling) – the options are frightening and it’s great to have those options in the squad.”
Gary Cahill knows better than most how destructive Kane can be.
The Yorkshire-born centre-back was part of the Chelsea team that was destroyed by the youngster and his Tottenham team-mates on New Year’s Day.
Kane struck twice in the 5-3 victory at White Hart Lane.
Although Chelsea kept Kane quiet in their Capital One Cup final win at the start of the month, the forward’s form has not dipped.
Kane scored his first Premier League hat-trick against Leicester City at the weekend and Cahill is sure he will cause international defenders just as many problems as he has done in the league.
“I’ve played against him three times this season and he’s been a real handful,” the England vice-captain said.
“He’s a fantastic talent, not just holding the ball up but running in behind defenders. For me he’s got all the attributes a striker needs.
“To score a hat-trick just before his first meet-up with the England team is ideal so his confidence will be sky high.
“He’s still a young boy and it’s his first time in the squad. It’s always a bit daunting.”
Kane’s chances of making his England debut certainly seemed to improve following Monday night’s withdrawal from the squad by Daniel Sturridge.
Sturridge underwent a scan at St George’s Park in Burton-upon-Trent late on Monday evening after reporting for duty with a hip problem he suffered in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
After assessing the results, the England medical staff decided Sturridge would not be able to play in the upcoming matches and sent the striker back to his parent club Liverpool.
Sturridge’s withdrawal is unfortunate for the player and England manager Hodgson, who has not been able to select the 25-year-old since September.
But Sturridge’s loss could be Kane’s gain.
Kane’s uncapped Spurs team-mate Ryan Mason is also taking his first steps at senior level having been drafted into the squad after Liverpool’s Adam Lallana withdrew because of a groin injury.
Mason was on loan at Doncaster Rovers in 2010-11 and at Swindon last season, but the midfielder has forced his way into the Spurs starting XI this campaign after impressing new head coach Mauricio Pochettino.
The FA revealed yesterday that former Leeds United midfielder Fabian Delph did not meet up with the rest of the squad on Monday as he is suffering from an upset stomach.
“Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph remained at home with a sickness bug but is expected to link up with the team later this week,” the FA said in a statement.