Ryan Giggs has tipped Michael Owen to break Sir Bobby Charlton's England goal-scoring record.
Giggs eclipsed one of Charlton's landmark feats himself a year ago when he overtook his mark of 759 Manchester United appearances. Now up to 805 and still going strong, Giggs has been impressed by the speed with which Owen has integrated himself into the Old Trafford dressing room.
With four goals on the Far East tour and the prospect of more to come as United return to Europe for the four-team Audi Cup later this week, it would seem Owen is bound to come to England boss Fabio Capello's attention eventually.
Capello has consistently ignored Owen since the early games of his reign, claiming the sharp-shooter was simply not fit enough to be in contention for a place in his squad. However, while he admits England's fortunes are none of his business, Giggs does not think it would take Owen long to score the nine goals he needs to equal Charlton's milestone of 49.
"He has it in him to do it," said the veteran Welshman. "It has been a difficult record to overhaul because obviously it has stood for so long.
"But when you analyse Michael's career and look at the number of times he has played for England and the goals he has got, if he plays another 15 times he would probably do it."