England skipper Steven Gerrard is predicting "a fantastic future" for Tom Cleverley who confirmed his promise with another encouraging performance in Friday night's 5-0 win against Moldova.
The Manchester United player operated effectively behind main central striker
It helped England to compensate for the absence of the injured
Gerrard said: "Tom is going to be a good player. He is only a young boy. Games like that in
"He is playing for one of the biggest clubs in
"He keeps learning the game, keeps trying to improve, he is going to be a top player."
When asked if Cleverley could fill the role on Rooney's return, Gerrard said: "We will have to wait and see but he is doing a good job.
"He's played there twice now, against
"He can also play as a midfielder as well. It's important when you are young to play in a couple of different positions. It helps you get into starting elevens and he can do that."
Hodgson has shown himself unafraid to play youngsters like Cleverley and
He said: "The important thing with a football team is to get the right blend of youth and experience.
"I don't think it would be fair if you put 11 kids out in games like in
"The older lads have got a lot of helping to do for these young lads.
"But it showed in
The debate over whether Gerrard and
Gerrard said: "I enjoy playing with Frank. He is a good player. We've got the understanding there.
"I know a lot of people talk about it but me and him, all we are interested in is winning football matches and playing well."
Gerrard knows England will face a sterner test when it takes on
He said: "Tuesday, with all due respect to
"But we are at home, have got our support behind us, and we want six points out of these two games.
"If we perform, and improve a bit from against
Only 51,000 tickets have so far been sold for the game but Gerrard said: "Well, 51,000 is not bad, is it? It will probably be one of the highest attendances in
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere hopes the latest operation on his troublesome ankle will prove the last as he looks to recover full fitness for both club and country next season.