He is excited about the "top-class" potential of players such as Calum Chambers, John Stones, Steven Caulker and Eric Dier, and is also tipping current regulars Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to blossom in time.
"There's no reason why in two or three years' time we couldn't see a generation of defenders every bit as good as mine," he told the Daily Star. "I think in my time we were fortunate to have some top class defenders. It was probably one of England's strongest positions. We had a number of good players there.
"But things change. At the moment we are an exciting team going forward. We have good young players in forward positions. "But there are good young players that can in the future hopefully be top players. Players like Chris Smalling and Phil Jones at Manchester United. I expect them to improve under Louis Van Gaal.
"Stones at Everton, Calum Chambers, Steven Caulker. I'm going to keep an eye out for Eric Dier as well.These are players who've got big futures and hopefully can be the commanding centre backs that you need in a national team. It's up to the rest of the players to push for spots in the team as well. Young players need time and the experience of playing in the team."
King retired from playing in 2012 due to persistent knee problems, and is now an ambassador at Tottenham.