Benitez commented: "I think so but I have a lot of respect for Steve McClaren. Pennant knows the important thing is to keep working hard, keep playing well and then maybe in the future he will be in the England squad.
"I think he is ready and he is improving a lot. Mentally he is more mature and I think he's very close to a call up.
"I still think he can play better because he has quality. He is improving and I also think with two or three small details he will be better."