Though Cole is no longer an automatic selection for England, Baines has said he cannot be regarded as a genuine challenger for Cole’s place, partly because he has no experience of the Champions League.
“It must carry some weight if you’re playing in Europe’s top competition,” Baines said. He also dismissed any suggestion that he was now at the same level as Cole, who has 99 caps. “I wouldn’t have thought so. Ash has got terrific experience and he’s playing for a club that’s trying to win the league.”