Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce says Shola Ameobi is a big part of his plans - and can also be the same for England manager Steve McClaren.

Allardyce told the Evening Chronicle: "I think Shola's got a great chance now. He's 25 years old. He's been waiting a long time for that other man that used to play in front of him to retire. I don't know why he didn't get a game.

"He had to live behind a world-class player, so there were limited opportunities.

"He's now resolved his injury problem. He's never felt better in that department as he used to be in constant pain. Now he wakes up in the morning looking forward to coming to training, and that can make a big, big difference to a Premier League footballer.

"At 25 and with his ability, he should be an alternative for Steve McClaren if he gets his act together. If he wants to, he could be an alternative centre-forward for England, never mind Newcastle United.

"He doesn't look silky smooth, but believe me, there aren't many big centre-forwards around who have the potential he has. What he's got to do now is realise his potential."