Steve Bruce believes Michael Turner must be closing in on an England call-up after an impressive start to life at Sunderland.
Having stood out last season for Hull City, the defender was snapped up by Bruce on deadline day for a reported £6million.
The 25-year-old has already established himself at the heart of the Black Cats defence and, with Rio Ferdinand currently receiving criticism for his mistake for England against Ukraine at the weekend, Turner has seen his international credentials talked up.
With in-form Sunderland striker Darren Bent surprisingly omitted from Fabio Capello's squad for the World Cup qualifiers with Ukraine and Belarus, Bruce feels the Italian must have been impressed with Turner's performance in the 2-2 draw with Manchester United before the international break.
"Everybody's been caught up with Benty and his goals, and rightly so. Darren has already played for England and I am sure he will again," he told the Sunderland Echo.
"But if Mr Capello is looking for players, then he must have been impressed with Michael Turner last weekend.
"I thought he was immense for us and he could not have chosen a better time for that kind of performance than in front of the England manager.
"It wasn't a one-off either. Michael has been fantastic since he came here and he has been a big influence in both boxes."
Despite enjoying a glittering career as captain at Old Trafford during his playing days, Bruce never received a single England cap.
"I didn't have a bad career and came out of it with a lot of achievements I was proud of," he added.
"But I never got anywhere near a squad and it was a frustration at the time because I would have loved to play for England.
"There were times when I wondered if it was going to be my time, but it never came."