Ashley Cole may have lost his starting spot for Chelsea, but manager Jose Mourinho says he is fully deserving of a contract extension.
Mourinho has recalled Cole for Wednesday's Champions League clash against Steaua Bucharest, the left-back set to make his first start since November 2 when he lost his place to Cesar Azpilicueta.
Yet the Blues boss said on Tuesday that the 33-year-old Cole, who is out of contract at the end of the season, will be given the chance to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge.
"Sometimes, even if you're not playing every game and are not first-choice, like he was always, it doesn't mean you are not well or deserving of a new contract," Mourinho said.
"I feel he's fine and I think tomorrow he's going to show he's fine. Naturally, with the evolution of the season, he will play matches."
Mourinho added: "Can he recover or not 100 percent his position? I don't know.
"But play, he will always play. And he will always be a good player. Naturally, he will get his contract because he's a hell of a player for us."