"If you had seen him in training with Steven during the week, you would have seen the blend and balance was perfect," enthused McClaren.
"It is not difficult to quantify what he has achieved because we have all seen it.
"I have been watching him and his form for Aston Villa has been fantastic. We actually brought him back in the summer and he did very well in the B game against Albania.
"I know he was disappointed not to remain with us for the matches against Brazil and Estonia but he kept going and has now got his opportunity."