England legend Alan Shearer admits he is looking forward to Chelsea youngster Daniel Sturridge making his senior international debut, in order to see if the 22-year-old can transfer his club form onto the biggest stage.
Following an eye-catching loan spell at Bolton Wanderers last season, Sturridge has five goals in 11 appearances for Chelsea, and Shearer believes the precocious youngster has all the necessary skills to thrive in international football.
"Lots of people wanted to see Sturridge, in particular, called up and I am certain he is up to the task of being an England striker." Shearer, who scored 30 goals in 63 appearances for England, told the BBC. "He is such an exciting prospect at the age of 22.
"He has got pace, he can run in behind defences and he can finish - he has scored a couple of important goals for Chelsea already this season.
"So, yes, he deserves his chance and let's see how he goes."
Chelsea coach Andre Villas-Boas has shown immense faith in the former Manchester City starlet and Sturridge has repaid his Portuguese coach with a string of impressive displays. Recent reports suggest the striker's form will be rewarded with a new five-year contract, and the player claims his permanent move down south in 2009, has reignited his career.
"It was stressful moving from Manchester but I couldn't turn down Chelsea." Sturridge told The Sun. "It's the biggest club in the Premier League and I'll never regret it.
"I'll never forget what City did for me but Chelsea is my main focus now."
Sturridge could make his debut against the World and European champions, Spain, at Wembley tomorrow or on Tuesday against Sweden, and the match has taken on greater significance due to the absence of Wayne Rooney.
The Manchester United striker is suspended for England's group stages of next summer's European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine, and Fabio Capello has used the opportunity to take a look at potential alternatives.
Alongside the aforementioned Chelsea forward, Danny Welbeck, Darren Bent and Bobby Zamora will all be hoping to impress the Italian tactician, but unfortunately Gabriel Agbonlahor will have to wait following his withdrawal from the squad with a hamstring injury.