England coach Steve McClaren has insisted Joe Cole remains an integral part of his plans for the future.

Cole has struggled to win a regular place in the Chelsea starting line-up this season and speculation surfaced in the aftermath of his substitution against Germany last month that the 26-year-old feared McClaren was not a fan.

"Joe is very valuable to England," said McClaren. "He hardly played for us last season and we missed him. He showed how important he was to us in the summer when he came back against Estonia and scored."

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