Southampton captain Adam Lallana has hailed team-mate Luke Shaw as arguably the best young player he has ever come across.
Left-back Shaw has been called up to the England senior squad for the first time ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Denmark along with club-mates Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez.
The 18-year-old broke into the Southampton first team last season, and has been impressive both at Premier League and under-21 level.
Lallana has no doubt Shaw merits his place in Roy Hodgson's England set-up despite his tender years, and was effusive in his praise of the teenager.
"He is probably the best player I've ever seen at 18," he said.
"He's won plaudits, gained recognition and he's certainly good enough to be in the England squad today.
"For Luke, at 18, to be playing so consistently well for us against some of the best wingers in the world, that's credit to him and how he keeps his feet on the ground.
"Nothing fazes him and I'm really excited to hopefully see him get some minutes on Wednesday."
Southampton have earned a reputation for developing young British talent, with the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all being nurtured at the club's academy before moving on.
And Lallana believes Shaw is as talented as any of those St Mary's alumnus, although he is wary of making comparisons to Bale, who joined Real Madrid from Tottenham for a world-record fee last September.
"It's hard to compare him to the others. Gareth's gone on and never looked back. I know Gareth did play left-back as well," Lallana added.
"There are similarities there, but I wouldn't want to put too much pressure on Luke.
"He's done unbelievably for us this season though. When Gareth was playing with us we were in the Championship."
|Coach: R. Hodgson|
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