Liverpool assistant manager Steve Clarke has assured Joe Cole he still has a future at Anfield.
Cole endured a disappointing debut season at Anfield after moving north on a free transfer from Chelsea.
The England international started just nine league matches in total and there had been question marks over whether the 29-year-old would be kept on for the new season.
Clarke, who worked with Cole during his time at Chelsea, has been impressed at how the midfielder has performed in pre-season and believes he still has a lot to offer
"At the end of last season he was not getting in the team because the team was playing well," said Clarke.
"But he has gone away, trained hard and had a good summer.
"Joe Cole is a top international player and he has a big contribution to make to the future. He is the same Joe Cole I coached at Chelsea, just a couple of years older and a little bit wiser.
"He knows the position he is in. It has been difficult for him because he has not been involved but when he gets the chance it is up to him to take it."
Clarke also hailed Cole's strength of the character after a tough 12 months on Merseyside.
"The better players are always positive," said Clarke.
"They see the bigger picture and understand what is going on. They understand they have to reach certain levels and when they do that they will get in the team."