Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge is the leading English goalscorer in the Premier League, and is rightly in possession of the No.9 jersey as the spearhead of Roy Hodgson's attack.
Though fitness concerns have deprived him of regular opportunities in 2013 for England, there remains no doubt in the mind of Hodgson that he remains the primary option to accompany Wayne Rooney both next summer and beyond.
Eight goals he might have for Liverpool this season, but as is often the way with England players attempting to reproduce their club form on the international stage, Sturridge's career with his country is still to ignite. As a result, his club prowess can surely only hold credence for so long.
Just two England goals have come in nine appearances; the seventh of eight against San Marino and a stoppage time penalty against Montenegro. Perhaps an unfair appraisal after such a short international career, but amid those nine appearances have come scant evidence the step up to the national team has been seamless.
Sturridge's decision-making, an area in which he has made his greatest improvement since joining Liverpool from Chelsea in the last January transfer window, has become a problem at England level. The time and space, not least the errors he can draw in the Premier League, is not as prevalent at international level, and the 24 year old must adjust.
Above all else, whoever England's No.9 is come Brazil next summer must bring the best out of Rooney, who himself is now all but certain to play a withdrawn role in attack. Sturridge is yet to convince as the candidate to work in the Manchester United forward's best interests.
While he might not possess the individual attributes of Sturridge, Hodgson might be tempted to revert to Danny Welbeck at the point of England's attack. The United forward is a selfless runner of the channels and as importantly, has the type of telepathy with Rooney, which Sturridge has naturally not yet acquired.
It would be unfair for Sturridge to be ousted completely after a handful of international appearances. But in order to justify his status as the leader of the England attack he must backup his Liverpool form with an improvement for his country. Otherwise, it's hard to be convinced he possesses the credentials to lead England at the World Cup.