Rooney backs Cole inclusion
Wayne Rooney hopes Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole can force his way into England's World Cup squad.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 05/03/10 3:31pm
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney hopes Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole can force his way into England's World Cup squad.
Cole, who has made just 11 Premier League starts this term, has struggled for form and fitness since Carlo Ancelotti took over the reigns at Stamford Bridge last summer.
The 28-year-old was left out of national team boss Fabio Capello's squad which beat Egypt 3-1 in midweek, despite being an England regular figure with 53 caps.
The former West Ham man suffered a miserable year in 2009 in which he spent eight months sidelined through a knee injury, but England's main striker Rooney would welcome Cole's return to the set-up in time for South Africa this summer.
"Joe has had a bad injury but, if he gets fit, I think he has a great chance of getting back into the England squad," Rooney told the Daily Mail.
"He has great skill and he can score and create goals, so he will be a fantastic player for us to have at a World Cup if he gets selected.
"He was a great player in the last World Cup in Germany. He scored a fantastic goal against Sweden and he is someone who has experience at major tournaments, which is something you always need.
"England will benefit if he is there," he added.
Cole, who has 10 goals for his country, has not featured for the national side since September 2008 in the 4-1 win over Croatia in Zagreb.