Emile Heskey is the latest player to push the international claims of Jermaine Pennant.
Heskey and Pennant were outstanding as Birmingham City defeated Portsmouth 5-0 at St Andrew's on Saturday.
The victory was so emphatic partly because so many individuals played well at the same time. Pennant was superlative on the right flank, while Heskey worked well with the equally impressive Chris Sutton up front.
Pennant's performance again offered suggestions that he is good enough to represent England and, with this being a World Cup year, the timing could not be better for the former Arsenal player.
"Jermaine Pennant is brilliant," Heskey said. "He has been brilliant since he came. He has had a few problems but on the pitch he has shown so much. He is only 23 so he has got a long, long time ahead of him. He is coming to the peak of his career.
"He can definitely make the jump [to the England squad] and he is playing regularly as well. He has got every chance. We are going to guide him. He knows that. We do talk to him and sit him down at times."
Heskey, whose performance also offered suggestions that a return to the England squad could be in the offing, heaped praise on Sutton, who was making his home debut for Birmingham after joining from Celtic.
"Definitely, Chris Sutton was a great help," Heskey said. "He is brilliant. He has taken a lot of the pressure off me. He does work really hard and he is a good link-up player and he helps my game.
"He didn't get many chances fall his way but he won't moan. He'll carry on and do what is best for the team and he has done that throughout his whole career.
"It is not the case that we are too similar. We have got a little understanding. He takes the pressure off me by winning a lot of flicks himself and all I've got to do is try and get on the end of them sometimes.
"Instead of me winning them all the time, it is nice for him to be up there as well."
The 5-0 victory, thanks to goals by Jiri Jarosik, Pennant, Matthew Upson, Mikael Forssell, and David Dunn, enabled Birmingham to control their own destiny in the battle to avoid relegation. But they are still in the bottom three of the Premiership table.
"We've had a few good results before which we had hoped would be the turning point but this one is a nice result for us," Heskey said.
"We've been unlucky over the last couple of weeks. This shows that we can still do it and we are really pushing to stay in this league."
Proof, perhaps, that Birmingham have their strongest squad in a generation came when Steve Bruce, the manager, named Dunn and Forssell on the substitutes' bench. It summed up the quality of the squad.
"It helps when you can bring that quality onto the pitch and they did brilliant-ly," Heskey said. "It is bit difficult for anyone coming off the bench but they got into the game straight away and Mikael and Dunny got their just rewards.
"That is massive for Mikael to score his first Premiership goal of the season. He has been very unlucky with injuries and we appreciate that. He has worked really hard to get back to where he is now and hopefully he can push on from here."
Enthusiasm was exuding from all of the Birmingham players. Dunn, whose demeanour is permanently positive, seemed to sum up the mood at St Andrew's.
"It was a good win for us, not only because it was against Portsmouth but the goals will do us good as well," Dunn said. "By the end you could tell the confidence that was coming through the team.
"I'm hoping it will be a turning point. We've said that a few times this season when we've got a good result and not followed it up. Let's hope this time we can do.
"Everything was good, the way the lads set about them early doors. The pace from the first minute was good. When Emile smashed one of their lads from the kick-off, that set the tempo for the game."
Bruce may be forced to alter his priority in the transfer window from a striker to a central defender after revealing that Kenny Cunningham, the captain, could be out of action for a month with a groin injury.
The former Republic of Ireland centre-back had not trained for a fortnight before being pressed into action on Saturday because of Martin Taylor's foot problem. It leaves Upson as Birmingham's only fit senior central defender.
Bruce had previously earmarked another striker as his number one target in January, with Peter Lovenkrands of Rangers and Jason Euell of Charlton Athletic among his targets.
But Cunningham's absence - and the possibility of Taylor being ruled out for another two to three weeks - may mean a shift in emphasis before the transfer window closes on January 31.
"We've got to look at the options," Bruce said. "Kenny Cunningham got through Saturday's game remarkably well because he hadn't trained for the best part of two weeks.
"He has got a very sore groin which could put him out for a good month. Martin Taylor has gone over on his leg, so defensively we are a little bit short as the squad stands at the moment.
"We've got to look at all these options before we dive into the next ten days. I am not awash with money. I can probably get one or two players and we will look to see what is going to be beneficial to the squad before I dive into the market."
Bruce, meanwhile, is facing competition from Real Betis, Osasuna and Real Zaragoza for Lovenkrands, who has scored ten goals in his last nine games for Rangers.
Birmingham have agreed a fee of £1.5 million with Charlton for Euell but the shortage of funds - and Cunningham's setback - means Bruce is keeping his options open for as long as possible.