Aston Villa striker John Carew believes winger Ashley Young deserves a place in England's World Cup squad.
Young will get another chance to stake his claim for a place in Fabio Capello's party when he lines up against Sunderland at Villa Park in Wednesday's Barclays Premier League clash. Young starred for Villa in front of the watching Capello during last Saturday's 2-2 draw against Wolves. And Carew feels Young has done enough to justify his place on the plane to South Africa, especially as David Beckham has been ruled out of the tournament through injury.
Carew said: "That is just how football is. There are injuries and other people get a chance but you always wish that everyone is fit. Beckham had been working hard to be a part of the England squad so you will always feel sorry for him. But then when he gets injured, new opportunities open for other people and we will be really pleased and proud for Ashley if he gets in there."
He added: "I think he deserves it. Fabio saw that Ashley was absolutely wonderful against Wolves and he should be on the flight."
Villa boss Martin O'Neill feels Young has been a key player for the team all season and refutes suggestions his form has dipped.
He said: "I am going to dispute that because I don't think he has been out of form. I think he has been terrific all season. That is my view and I remain steadfast about that."
Carew more than most appreciates what Young brings to the team as the Norwegian thrives on the chances the former Watford man creates. His first goal against Wolves came from a Young cross.
Carew's double against Wolves took his tally for the season to 13 and he aims to end the campaign with a flourish as Villa bid to finish fourth and reach the final of the FA Cup.
"I hope I can continue to be an important part of the team until the season is over because we have a very important few weeks left," Carew, who struggled with injury at the start of the season, added.
"I am still trying to improve all of the time. We can always do better but we are doing quite well and have great potential in the whole team and I think all the players can improve despite different ages."