Michael Ball's transformation from peripheral squad player to Manchester City's first choice left-back has drawn Sven Goran Eriksson to comment on a remarkable change of heart on his part.
City's signing of Javier Garrido in the summer saw Ball, who won his only England cap under Eriksson's tenure of the national side, reduced to the sidelines.
Ball only earned his first league start of the season at the back end of December against Aston Villa but Eriksson is now touting his player for an England call-up.
"I think he has the capability to do that," said Eriksson, when quizzed on Ball's international aspirations.
"England have a couple of top quality left-backs in Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge, so Michael has to compete with them. But I think he can do that.
"He has surprised me. He is a much better player now than he was four or five years ago when I picked him for England.
"The way he is playing now is brilliant."
No Cisse deal
In the past few days murmurings coming out of France have claimed City are eager to bring Marseille striker Djibril Cisse back to England but while Eriksson accepts speculation is inevitable at this time of the year, he claims the former Liverpool man is not on his radar.
"No," Eriksson told Sky Sports News, when asked whether Marseille had been approached.
"Over the last month, we have been linked with something like 20 players.
"Amid all that speculation, something might be true.
"We are working on new signings and I feel we will get at least one more, in addition to (Nashat) Akram."
While City are eager to add to their ranks in the January transfer window, rumours are also rife that exits could be abound in equal measures.
Rolando Bianchi's future has been the subject of conjecture all season but Eriksson claims he has not been approached about any of his players, amid talk Espanyol are keen on the Italian.
"What I know of, no," said Eriksson, with regards Espanyol's interest.
"I haven't talked with any other clubs with regards our players.
"There are lots of rumours but there has been no direct contact."