Jack Wilshere says his England teammate Wayne Rooney belongs in the top bracket of footballers in the world after the Manchester United star's assured display in midfield in the Euro 2016 draw against Russia.
Rooney, 30, excelled in a deeper role at the Stade Velodrome as part of a three-man midfield alongside Tottenham duo Dele Alli and Eric Dier.
That meant there was no place in the starting XI for Wilshere, who only recently returned to fitness after a lengthy injury layoff.
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, the Arsenal playmaker said he had no complaints about his reduced role in the England first-team after watching the quality of Rooney's performance in midfield.
"It hurts me to say but he plays the position unbelievably," Wilshere said.
"I've said it before – he's our best player. He's got that range of passing, he understands the game. He can still play up front in my opinion.
"He can be a striker, now a midfielder, and he was our best player against Russia. Everything went through him. I just love watching him, I love playing with him.
"People say he is not as quick as he used to be but his understanding of the game..."
Battle of Britain
Wilshere also warned Wales to expect a fiery contest against England in their crucial Group B encounter on 16 June.
Roy Hodgson's side need a positive result in Lens on 16 June after being held to a draw by Russia in their opening match, while Wales beat Slovakia 2-1 in their opener.
The clash at Stade Felix Bollaert-Delelis has been dubbed as the "Battle of Britain" and the biggest ever football match between England and Wales.
"It is going to be tough, there are going to be tackles," Wilshere said.
"It is going to be like a Premier League game. If you put both teams down on paper we would win but it doesn't work like that in football."