Roy Keane believes Kieran Richardson is ready to end a two-year stint in the international wilderness.
The Sunderland winger amassed eight England caps during Sven Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren's time in charge of the national side, scoring twice on his debut against the United States in 2005.
However, since completing a big-money move to the North East from Manchester United in the summer of 2007 he has failed to force his way back into the fold.
He does appear to have finally shaken off the injury problems which have blighted his time with the Black Cats, and has impressed his club boss with a number of eye-catching displays this term.
"Kieran is climbing back to the level he was at three or four years ago - and that was a time when he was an England player," said Keane.
"He was the main man out in the USA when he scored two goals.
"There is no doubt in my mind that he can get back into the national team."
While Keane has been impressed by Richardson's return to form, the Irishman admits he is still facing an attacking dilemma at the Stadium of Light.
Loan signing Djibril Cisse has settled quickly following his return to England from Marseille, but the Frenchman is yet to form a potent partnership with Kenwyne Jones.
The languid Trinidad & Tobago international has spent a lengthy spell on the sidelines of late, but Keane hopes a return to full fitness will see his talismanic hit-man begin to strike a greater understanding with his new cohort.
"There are gambles with every player you bring to your football club but I have to say Djibril deserves great credit," Keane added.
"His attitude has been pretty good, he has not missed a training session yet and we are seeing him week in, week out getting stronger and faster and sharper.
"He has played in a few games on his own in that lone striker position and he has done well with that.
"People keep talking about this partnership with Kenwyne - it would be nice to find out if they could play together, but it doesn't seem to be happening at this moment in time because of Kenwyne's misfortune.
"But Djibril has done well. We are delighted with his return and his goals tally."