Kieran Wallace firmly believes that former Ilkeston FC teammate Che Adams is capable of playing in the Championship or Premier League - and hopes that he fulfils that ambition with Sheffield United.
The two have established themselves as key members of the United squad since being plucked from Ilkeston by Nigel Adkins’ predecessor at Bramall Lane, Nigel Clough.
Adams, aged 19, has gone on to earn his first England U20 cap, and took his season tally to four goals last weekend with a brace in United’s 3-2 win over Rochdale.
And Wallace - who could make his twelth appearance of the season on Saturday when United travel to Oldham, with Jay McEveley suffering an ankle knock - said: “Che has a big future ahead of him.
“We’ve all seen that he’s quick, strong and powerful and he could play much higher than League One.
“Hopefully, he does that here with Sheffield United.
“He’s worked hard and put in the performances to earn an England call-up, and he’ll be a key player for us this season.”
Soon after completing his move to United last November, beating off competition from clubs in the Championship and some from the top-flight, Ilkeston boss Kevin Wilson told The Star that 45 scouts had watched Adams in a recent game.
And 20-year-old Wallace, who began his career at Nottingham Forest but has recently shined after being moved into defence, added: “It was obvious why.
“He was a big player, the kind of player who’d get people off their seats.
“And, crucially, he seems to have taken everything in his stride here.”