Danny Mills believes comparisons between Jack Grealish and Paul Gascoigne are premature after the Aston Villa captain addressed being likened to the former England favourite.
Grealish was England's best player during the recent international break, starting all three matches and earning widespread praise.
Some pundits compared him to former Three Lions star Gascoigne following his impressive performances against Iceland, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland.
Grealish said: "I love the way he played football with all the freedom and all the joy. I want to entertain people but I always want to be effective on the pitch like Gazza was too."
Mills, who won 19 caps for England between 2001 and 2004, thinks Grealish has the potential to become a 'world-class' player but has warned against the comparisons at such an early stage in the playmaker's international career.
"The only issue I had was is when people start calling him (Grealish) world class," Mills told Football Insider. "He's played a handful of internationals.
"He may well go on to be world class. He certainly has the ability to do so and he's got three or four years to do that. Undoubtedly he's earned his place in the England side and he's going to be pushing to be a starter you know, very very often, if not all the time.
"But this is the problem, every time we get a good player in this country, we start comparing them to legends of the past. The comparisons aren't really fair and they are a little bit pointless.
"Jack Wilshere was going to be the next Gazza. Ross Barkley was going to be the next player at one point, we always do this. It's tough and it's a little bit unfair.
"Jack Grealish is just at the beginning of his international career, and you're comparing him to Gazza."
Grealish wasn't able to help Villa to a positive result on the return to Premier League action this weekend, with Brighton inflicting a 2-1 defeat on Dean Smith's side.
Villa thought they had a late lifeline to rescue a point when Michael Oliver awarded them a penalty but the referee overturned his decision after watching replays of Solly March's tackle on Trezeguet on the pitchside monitor.