Chelsea star Frank Lampard believes people are making a big mistake in writing off Ashley Cole, reports the London Evening Standard.
Cole has been left out of Chelsea's starting line-up in recent weeks - due to his poor display against Newcastle - and he is in danger of losing his England spot to Leighton Baines.
However Lampard has jumped to the defence of his club and international teammate by insisting the 32-year-old is still a 'fantastic' left-back.
Lampard told Standard Sport: “No-one should certainly write Ashley off. He’s a fantastic player and for me has been the best in the world over the last decade at left back.
“At Chelsea we have a very full squad with quality players all around and it doesn’t matter what position you’re in, whether it’s Ashley, myself, John Terry or Fernando Torres, there is always competition.
"The manager is right to use that squad, but it makes no difference - Ashley is and will remain one of the best left backs in the world."
Lampard, who will captain England for their friendly against Chile tonight, believes Cole will respond well to competition from Baines and Cesar Azpilicueta for the Three Lions and Chelsea respectively.
“He’s taken to not playing at Chelsea for the last few games and the challenge from Leighton in the best way," added Lampard.
"The best players, the ones I know, always take things like this the right way and I’ve had no reason to speak to him about it because he’s trained hard.
“People are talking about Ash sitting on the bench for Chelsea or competing with Leighton, but we should certainly not get on the negative side of it."
Cole, who has won 105 caps for England, will reportedly play one of England's two friendlies, with Baines due to feature in the other.
Away from international football, Cole will be hoping he can worm his way back into Jose Mourinho's plans to start Chelsea's next game against West Ham United on November 23.
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