Alan Pardew is backing full-back Jose Enrique to play himself into the all-conquering Spain squad if he continues to excel for Newcastle.
The 25-year-old turned in the latest in a series of fine individual displays for the Magpies at Blackburn on Saturday, combining rugged defence with genuine enterprise.
Enrique will head for Birmingham with his reputation growing by the week, and while Pardew knows the strength of squad the reigning World and European champions can boast means he faces a fight to gain recognition at senior international level, he believes he can force his way into consideration.
Pardew said: "Possibly that would be a fitting tribute for him, to get into that squad. It's a tough squad and an outstanding team, but he is showing the sort of form that could get him into that squad, no problem.
"There aren't too many who can hold a candle to him at the moment, the form he is in. If you were the opposition, you would have to start worrying about him defensively because he keeps coming at you.
"Let alone the other assets we have in the team offensively, you have to look after our left-back because he will raid and raid all day. He has been terrific for us."