Newcastle boss Alan Pardew believes Steven Taylor is ready to fulfil his undoubted potential.
The centre-half was tipped to be an England star of the future a few years ago, having skippered the U21s and become a regular at St James' Park.
He has, however, seen injuries curtail his progress, with the expected step-up onto the senior international stage yet to materialise.
There have been signs of late, though, that the 25-year-old is getting back to a level close to his best.
Pardew hopes to help Taylor continue on that path, with an eye-catching showing in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Birmingham suggesting he is heading in the right direction.
"I thought he was outstanding," the Magpies boss told the Evening Chronicle.
"If I was marking him, I'd give him an eight out of ten.
"I liked his assurance and focus. He was on his game, and when the ball came, he attacked it.
"I've worked hard with Steven to make sure that next year he's ready to put in a season that his potential three to four years ago was suggesting.
"I think he can."