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Page last updated at 08:39 GMT, Friday, 28 May 2010 09:39 UK

Gradi tips Bristol City's Nicky Maynard for England cap

Bristol City striker Nicky Maynard
Maynard joined Bristol City from Crewe for 2.25m in July 2008

Crewe manager Dario Gradi believes Bristol City's former Alex striker Nicky Maynard will play for England.

Gradi told BBC Radio Stoke that Maynard is good enough to have been named in Fabio Capello's England squad for the World Cup in South Africa this summer.

"I don't think it's likely he would be selected from a club like Bristol City, so I don't imagine that he's even been considered," said the Crewe boss.

"It's a pity that the World Cup has come two years too early for him."

Gradi continued: "I think he could break through for the next one because I think he's an outstanding striker.

"I know him inside out and Nicky has always played well at the level that he's been picked. He's doing that for Bristol City."

Maynard, 23, came through the youth ranks at the Alexandra Stadium, making his debut at the age of 19 and scoring 35 goals in 67 appearances before a £2.25m record transfer to Ashton Gate in July 2008.

He has scored a further 32 goals in 90 games for City, including 21 last season, and has been linked with a move to the Premier League, a step up that Gradi believes Maynard could comfortably make.

"If he went this summer, it would take him a season or so to become a big hit, but he would adjust and he would be good enough," added Gradi.

"I think the best finisher we've had in my time here [at Crewe] would be Dean Ashton, but Nicky wouldn't be too far behind that.

"He'll score goals that Dean couldn't score because he's much quicker."

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