Brighton & Hove Albion legend Bobby Zamora believes Lewis Dunk is one of the best defenders in the Premier League and should have been called-up to the England squad a couple of years ago.
Dunk, 26, got his first call-up into an England squad for last month's Nations League matches with Croatia and Spain. He will again hope to be part of Gareth Southgate's set-up - and make his Three Lions debut - when England host United States in a friendly and then entertain Croatia in the Nations League later this month.
Zamora, who scored 90 goals in three spells with Brighton, feels Dunk is good enough to be ahead of Harry Maguire and even John Stones in the England set-up.
Speaking to Everton's matchday programme, he said: "For me, Lewis Dunk is one of the best centre-halves in the Premier League.
"I rate him above a lot of the England centre-backs who have been called up. I was even saying this two years ago.
"He is a genuinely great defender. He is one of those who will put his face where the attacker's boot is.
"He also has the ability to play out from the back, he is a very good ball-playing footballer.
"He can strike a ball well, he can pick a pass, he can drive forward with the ball. For me, he is ahead of Harry Maguire and even John Stones. He's stronger and more aggressive.
"Him and Shane Duffy, who of course used to be at Everton, have been a great partnership so far this season."
Dunk scored his first goal of the season in the 3-1 defeat at Everton but made a mistake for the Toffees' third goal.
The loss left Brighton 12th in the Premier League table. Talking to Everton's programme about the Seagulls' start, Zamora said: "To have so many points on the board already and be in a nice position in the league is a real positive.
"When you're down the bottom, the pressure builds and it's not a pleasant place to be so it's a very good start."
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