Baines has continued his stunning progress this season.
“I have always said Ashley Cole is England’s No 1 left back but Leighton Baines is getting very close,” he said. “He’s kept pushing and he’s improving all the time. He’s a terrific player.
"He’s as close to Cole as he’s ever been. I don’t watch enough of Cole to be able to judge how he is playing but his form for England has been exceptional. Cole was head and shoulders above everyone at one point.”