The World Cup will come too soon for Luke Moore, but the Aston Villa striker has every reason to believe that he could be in the England squad by the time the 2008 European Championships come along.
The England head coach will have changed by then - Sven-Göran Eriksson is leaving after the World Cup - but Moore could be as much a part of the international setup as the likes of Darren Bent and Jeremain Defoe.
Moore, who is finally flourishing after a spell when there was little tangible to justify the praise that surrounded him, now has the world at his feet.
Bent, of Charlton Athletic, is likely to make his full England debut in the match against Uruguay at Anfield tomorrow night, providing proof that Eriksson is prepared to make use of the players in form, however young and inexperienced they are.
Moore is not quite as good now as Darius Vassell was this time four years ago, but is heading in the right direction. He emerged as a second-half substitute for Villa away to Charlton last Saturday and, in front of Eriksson, performed well.
Indeed, Liam Ridgewell, the Villa defender, says that Moore is as good as Bent and possesses the same attributes.
"Luke's like Benty," Ridgewell said. "He's busy, running around, not giving defenders time and I think he gave Jonathan Spector a bit of a hard time.
"I think it was good for him to come off the bench and show what he can do. He will have been a bit frustrated at dropping to the bench, but he let his football do the talking."
It was a surprise that Moore, Villa's best player since the turn of the year, should be relegated to the substitutes' bench, especially as he was replaced by Juan Pablo Angel. The Colombian has failed miserably over the past two years, whereas Moore is as much the present as he is the future.
Four years ago, Vassell, then of Villa but now of Manchester City, virtually secured a place in the England squad for the World Cup in Japan with a succession of fine displays at international level.
Moore will be at a similar stage in two years' time, meaning that a place in the squad for Euro 2008 is there for the taking - as long as Moore can maintain his progress. Vassell has not and has fallen out of favour at international level.
It would help Moore if he is part of a successful Villa side but, for at least the next year, that looks unlikely. David O'Leary's men were solid in their goalless draw away to Charlton but, surprisingly, they are still not clear of the relegation zone.
A few bad results and Villa could be dragged into the equation, alongside Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion.
"We kept a clean sheet and kept our good away run going," Ridgewell said. "It's just a pity we couldn't nick one at the other end.
"We lost Aaron Hughes [through injury] at half-time and I think we coped well with the changes. Right-back isn't Jlloyd Samuel's preferred position, but he did superbly and Gareth Barry did well slotting back to left-back.
"It's hard doing that at half-time, but I think we coped with it well. Thomas Sorensen didn't have too much to do in the second-half, but he was there when we needed him in the first. He pulled off a few good saves.
"Now we go on to another big game at home to Portsmouth [on Saturday]. With Olof Mellberg suspended, I'll have another defensive partner - as long as I stay in the side - and it's important that we're solid again."
Meanwhile, Mark Delaney's agent, Richard Rosser, says that the player could recover from a knee injury in time for the visit of Portsmouth. That will come as a relief to O'Leary, with Ridgewell and Gary Cahill the only fit centre-backs in the first-team group.
Aaron Hughes, the Villa and Northern Ireland defender, has not given up hope of being fit to face Portsmouth. He limped out of the week-nd's goalless draw with a calf injury but remains optimistic, despite withdrawing from the international match against Estonia tomorrow.
"It was disappointing to have to come off and to miss out on the international game," Hughes said. "But now I'm just focused on recovering in time for Saturday.
"The next few days will be important. I'll have a combination of treatment and rest and we'll see how the injury is later in the week."