West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has tipped Matthew Upson to earn a place in England's World Cup squad.
The 30-year-old defender has been one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League over recent years and the Hammers had to fend off interest in the England international during the transfer window.
The presence of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand has restricted Upson to 18 caps, but the former Arsenal and Birmingham man remains on the fringes of the England side and started the last international against Brazil in November.
West Ham visit Burnley on Saturday and Zola believes Upson's form for the Hammers until the end of the season could book him on the plane to South Africa.
"I think he has been playing very well," said the Italian coach, who took charge in September 2008.
"He didn't perform as well as he could at the start but now he's one of the best players I've had.
"His mental strength is getting better and better. I know he has two very good players in front of him [for England] - it depends on the condition of those players.
"He knows the World Cup comes through the performances he has with West Ham."
Zola is set to field a new-look strikeforce at Turf Moor having signed Blackburn's Benni McCarthy, Brazil international Ilan and Mido.
The Egypt international, 26, has arrived on loan from Middlesbrough and is determined to prove himself in the Premier League after previous spells with Tottenham and Wigan.
"Ilan has trained only twice but he looks a very good player," said Zola. "He is sharp, a skilful player.
"We know Benni, and Mido has been a surprise, he's working very hard and he wants to prove himself.
"He has started with a perfect attitude which is very important. He knows that everything he desires he will have to work hard for.
"I have been very pleased. He's had problems, but he is a player with great potential. With his quality he should be playing for a big team.
"If he wants to achieve it, he has a chance because this team will pick itself. I never bother too much about what the players earn, I judge them on the pitch."