Ashley Young could be as good as Wayne Rooney as England's deep-lying striker, according to Stewart Downing.
Young looks set to start the European Championship playing off Danny Welbeck, with Rooney suspended for his country's first two games. Rooney has long been considered England's talisman but Young has threatened to wrest that mantle from his Manchester United team-mate in the last 18 months with six goals in his last 10 internationals.
Liverpool winger Downing, who played with Young at Aston Villa, said: "He's tricky and finds himself in good areas and can nick a goal. He can find a pass, score a goal and maybe now we have another player to play in that role as well as Rooney."
He added: "You can see with the run of games he's had and scoring a few goals that his confidence has grown.
"He's a terrific player, a good lad and I personally like playing with him because we seem to be on the same wavelength.
"I think he's come into his own a bit and has the confidence he can do well in this team."
Downing, who is being tipped to start alongside Young in England's Euro 2012 opener against France on Monday, revealed he himself preferred to play in a deep-lying role.
He said: "When I first went to Aston Villa, he was on the left, I was on the right and you saw his ability to get good crosses into the box.
"I prefer to play in the hole, if I'm honest, and at Aston Villa when he went into the hole and I went out wide, I think we linked up quite well. Me, him and Darren Bent."