That's the view of former England and Lions back row ace Richard Hill, who helped the Lions beat the Springboks in 1997 and England to win the World Cup in 2003.
Leicester Tigers' back row man Croft marked his Lions Test debut with a record equalling two tries in Durban and then played in the second Test in Pretoria. Those games capped a season in which he won the Guinness Premiership with his club, reached the Heineken Cup final and locked down a place in the England back row.
And now Hill, who won 71 caps for his country in the same row of the scrum, believes Croft can make his mark with England.
"Tom proved on the Lions tour what a valuable asset he is going to be for years to come," Hill told The Rugby Paper.
"He is extremely athletic, able to play with the ball in hand, has great pace and is an asset at the back of the line-out. He provides something a little bit different - England need to utilise his strengths above and beyond other players."