Former Arsenal and England striker Alan Smith has written in the Telegraph that Tottenham Hotspur star Eric Dier is good enough to be England's chief midfield enforcer despite his relative inexperience.
Dier thrived in a midfield role for Spurs this season after being moved up the pitch from centre-back by manager Mauricio Pochettino last summer.
The 22-year-old missed just a single Premier League match last term and played 51 times in all competitions at club level, as well as making his senior debut for the Three Lions in November.
After his impressive campaign he was one of five Tottenham stars named in Roy Hodgson's squad for Euro 2016 in France, and he looks a favourite to start for the Three Lions in the holding midfield role behind club teammate Dele Alli in the centre of midfield.
Though this could raise question marks due to his lack of experience - Dier is 22 and has just seven caps to date, all won in the last seven months - Smith believes that the young star has shown that he is more than capable of taking on the heavy responsibility of his position for England on a major international stage.
The former striker wrote in the Telegraph: "With Danny Drinkwater deemed surplus to requirements, the Tottenham midfielder bears a heavy weight of responsibility as England’s only true holding midfielder.
"Talk about putting your faith in someone, trusting in their ability. A lad with just seven caps to his name who only made his debut last November is now firmly installed as England’s chief protector. Mind you, there is no doubt that Dier knows the role. He showed that on countless occasions for Spurs last season.
"There is a strength and determination about him that all good anchormen possess. Having learned on his feet under Mauricio Pochettino, he rarely lets an opponent drift out of his eye line. In addition, he sees the picture quickly and clearly, passing early and simply to get his team moving forward."
Dier's role is likely to be even more difficult for England as it is for Spurs, but he is at least likely to have the insurance policy of club teammates Kyle Walker and Danny Rose starting at full-back behind him.
Dier has impressed so far in his short Three Lions career, never more so that in the 3-2 comeback win over world champions Germany in which he headed a last-minute winner to cap a fine performance.
If he can keep up that good form and not wilt under the pressure of playing at the European Championship, England's defence will know that they have the very best protection in front of them.