Roberto Martínez has warned England not to heap too much expectation on Ross Barkley if he is selected for the World Cup this summer, claiming the midfielder's development should be protected and that he cannot "carry" the national team.
Roy Hodgson will name his 23-man squad for Brazil, along with seven possible replacements, on Monday and Barkley has been widely tipped to be selected following an impressive season for Everton.
The 20-year-old scored another excellent goal in Saturday's 3-2 defeat by Manchester City but Martínez, his club manager, said: "Will we expect to win the World Cup because of Ross Barkley? No. That is what we need to be clear on. He has the potential to be one of the best midfielders in world football at the age of 25, 26, 27 – but not now.
"If the role in the World Cup is to carry England, that is not Ross Barkley. But if it is someone that 'will he be ready to help the team? Will he be ready mentally and nothing will phase him?' Yes, he has that character.
"But if we say is Ross Barkley the man to bring England to win the World Cup, no we need to be more sensible and protect a young man who, for me, is the best young English talent I've seen and worked with. I hope we can fulfil his potential and give him what he needs over the years."
Barkley, who has scored six goals in 34 Premier League appearances this season, has three caps and played for Hodgson during the World Cup qualifying campaign.
On his development this year, Martínez added: "When you have 23 players to choose from I think Ross is quite unique. I don't think there is another English player that can do what Ross does.
"Remember that Ross is a young man and young men deserve to be able to drop their energy level, from week to week. He is not like a normal 25- or 26-year-old who needs to be consistent with his performances. Ross is a star already, it is how you use it. I have experimented with him in different positions and at times those have to be cut short and change, and he accepts that and knows that."