Steven Gerrard insists striker Wayne Rooney 'has got to go' to next summer's Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine.
The England midfielder believes it is vital for Rooney to go as he could make all the difference to the Three Lions' chances of winning the competition in the latter stages.
The Manchester United striker is banned for the opening three matches - ruling him out of the group stage - after his red card against Montenegro in the final qualifier on October 7th in Podgorica.
And although an FA appeal against Uefa's punishment is likely which could reduce his punishment, Gerrard believes Rooney is worth the risk and has urged head coach Fabio Capello to take him.
"For me he has got to go, the talent that he is," said Gerrard, who faced Rooney and scored the opening goal in Saturday's 1-1 draw against United at Anfield.
"He is that good a player I think you have to take the risk and take him.
"It is devastating he is out for the first three games, it is a massive blow for everyone.
"We will have to see who we come up against in the group games but we should progress from the group stages and then you need your best player out there with you to push on all the way to the final."
Gerrard claims that not having Rooney available for the first part of the competition could have a positive effect on the rest of Capello's squad.
"I don't think anyone needs to keep him involved, he is a good character to have off the pitch," the 31-year-old added.
"Not having him for the first three games will hopefully galvanise the squad.
"We all need to pull together and take responsibility with him not being there.
"Then hopefully if we do get out of the group he will be there fit and fresh to help us push on."
If Wayne Rooney's Euro 2012 ban is extended should Fabio Capello still take him to the finals?