Mark Hughes believes Jan Bednarek is ready to seize his chance at the World Cup.
The Polish defender made his senior international debut last September, soon after joining Southampton from Lech Poznan, but had to wait eight months for another call-up.
That came in the shape of Poland’s preliminary 35-man squad in May, and Bednarek has avoided the cull to secure his seat on the plane to Russia.
“We’re really pleased for him and I think it’s recognition for how well he did when he came in,” Hughes said, referring to the youngster’s performances in a pressurised Premier League run-in.
“He did that under difficult circumstances because we’d lost Jack (Stephens, through suspension).
“We could have moved people around and used senior players in different positions but I’d seen Jan in training and I felt that he was ready.
“He has good ability and I liked his character in terms of his determination to training correctly and being ready if we needed him.
“You’re never quite sure with young players if they can embrace everything that you tell them or have an immediate impact, but he was excellent in every game he played.
“He was unfortunate to go out of the game in Swansea, but he deserves the international recognition and their group is maybe lacking good young centre-halves.
“If he’s asked to play a role for his country then I’m sure he’ll do exactly what he did for us, and that’s play well.”