Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland is ready to become first-choice for England, according to Potters assistant manager Mark Bowen.
After recovering from the broken ankle that forced him to miss Euro 2016, Bowen has tipped Butland to have another great season and replace current England number one Joe Hart.
“He’s ahead of schedule in his own mind,” Bowen told BBC Radio Stoke.
“He’s feeling fine. And he has a fantastic future ahead of him.”
Former Wales international Bowen added: “It would have been a difficult summer for him, looking at the England situation. But he’s taken it on the chin.”
Fellow former Birmingham goalkeeper Hart was heavily criticised following errors at Euro 2016 against Wales and Iceland, as England bowed out at the last 16 stage.
“No disrespect to Joe Hart,” said Bowen. “But, if Jack had been out there, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d have probably come in for the last couple of games that England played.”
Butland suffered the ankle injury in England’s 3-2 victory over Germany in Berlin in March, just a week after signing a new four-year deal with Stoke.
Bristol-born Butland, who played rugby as a boy, began his career with Birmingham City.
After spending the majority of the 2011-12 season on loan at Cheltenham Town, he was a surprise name in England’s Euro 2012 squad, although he did not make an appearance in the tournament.
When he made his international debut in a friendly against Italy as a Birmingham City player in August 2012, he became the youngest England goalkeeper at 19 years 158 days.
Signed by the Potters in January 2013 for a fee rising to £3.5m, Butland became their number one when Asmir Begovic left for Chelsea in July 2015.