Roy Hodgson believes Tom Cleverley can do the same job for England that Cesc Fabregas carries out for world and European champion Spain.
Fabregas was a key figure in
The former Arsenal man was
Although there were a few teething troubles, Fabregas eventually excelled in the 'false nine' role as
Hodgson is not quite proposing to go that far.
It is hardly likely Hodgson will start to ignore
However, in the support role, Cleverley offers something different.
And Hodgson clearly feels it is a job that has a future for the 23-year-old.
"I suppose you could say
"He plays in that position for Manchester United.
"He is quite capable of coming back into a central midfield role and winning the ball when necessary.
"Also, he took a bit more responsibility for getting closer to
Cleverley also offers proof that while football was an uneasy fit at the London 2012 Olympics, certainly from a British men's perspective, for some it was a genuinely worthwhile exercise.
Sidelined by injury for much of last season, Cleverley's hopes of making
Without the opportunity to watch Cleverley on a couple of occasions, Hodgson might not have been tempted to select him for last month's friendly with
"It was important for me because that's where I sort of discovered him," said Hodgson.
"I knew him when he was at Watford and I'd seen him play a couple of times, and I'd seen him play a few games as substitute for Manchester United.
"But he got injured very early last season, so the Olympics was the opportunity for me to cast the rule over him."
Cleverley was not the only youngster to impress as England assumed early command of Group H on the road to Brazil 2014.
Hodgson may have made a pointed reference to two-goal hero
At just 19, the Arsenal wide man still has much to learn.
But the potential is there, and his impressively mature attitude suggests he will fulfil it as long as he keeps absorbing some key points.
"Alex was very good in the first half but we made it clear we were going to take him off after 60 minutes, so I think he forgot to play in the second," said Hodgson.
"That will be an interesting lesson for him as well. Especially when I tell him."
As Oxlade-Chamberlain reported earlier in the week receiving a major rebuke from the England coach for showboating in training, Hodgson is clearly not going to give the teenager an easy ride.
However, it is part of ensuring he gets the most from players he is demanding more from to widen his selection base.
"With so many key members of our squad -
"The senior players are still playing with the same aplomb they did during the Euros but it's nice to see we've got a few new faces coming onto the scene and challenging for places."
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.