Matt Le Tissier says Adam Lallana deserves to reap the rewards after showing so much loyalty to Southampton.
The 24-year-old has been with the South Coast club since the age of 12 after joining the Saints Academy as a schoolboy and has played a key role as they climbed from League One to the Premier League in the last two seasons.
He hit the headlines this week after being called into Roy Hodgson's England squad for the clash with Ukraine and Southampton legend Le Tissier was full of praise for his achievements.
"The boy's got so much natural ability and I've been a big fan of his for many years," he told Soccer AM.
"Whenever I go down and watch at St Mary's he's the one. Rickie Lambert's got all the goals and he's been brilliant for us, but from my point of view the one person that excites me to watch playing football is Adam Lallana.
"He's probably had opportunities to leave. We were playing in the Championship and League One and he was far too good to be playing in League One.
"But he's showed us great loyalty, he stayed with us and now he's getting his rewards by playing in the Premier League this season."
The Saints opened the season with a trio of defeats - to Manchester City, Wigan and Manchester United - and that has seen the odds shorten on manager Nigel Adkins losing his job.
But Le Tissier insists the manager deserves plenty of time and pledged his support to the man that has guided the team back to the top flight.
"I still think we'll be alright," he added.
"We've shown enough promise in the games we've had so far, probably barring the Wigan game when we weren't particularly great.
"To have gone ahead against both United and City and to have scored two goals against them both and give them a real run for their money gives me a lot of hope that we'll be okay this season.
"Nigel's done a brilliant job. In the two seasons he's been with us there's been two promotions and you can't ask for any more than that.
"He was favourite in the odds to be the next manager to go! After two promotions you've got to give the guy a chance and I am fully behind Nigel.
"I hope he is given the time to turn things around."