Andrew Johns believes Corey Norman is the heir apparent to the Queensland halves crown currently shared by Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.
Parramatta star Norman has been in dazzling form this season despite all the dramas at the Eels, and led them to another dramatic win over Sydney Roosters on Friday night.
With Maroons playmakers Thurston and Cronk close to retirement, Brisbane duo Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford, Daly Cherry-Evans and Moses Mbye have all been put forward as the those competing to be Queensland's next generation of halves.
But in talking on Channel Nine's Sunday Footy Show, Blues great Johns believes the next Maroons playmaker will be Norman.
"I think he has gone past a lot of those Queenland halves who are next in line to Cronk and Thurston," Johns said.
"I think his form and with the way he plays if he got to that level and played five-eighth after all those freaks finish, he could slot straight in unfortunately for NSW."
Dramas have surrounded the Eels for much of the NRL season, drug possession allegations against Norman and salary cap dramas notwithstanding, but the Eels five-eighth has continued to impress.
"He must have so much going on when he puts his head on his pillow to sleep. He must be fighting so many demons, so to keep the motivation to get out there and play the way he has shows how truly elite he is," the champion halfback said.