ANDONI Iraola believes Lewis Cook could have been a “very good player for England” at this summer’s European Championship.

Cook enjoyed a superb season with Cherries in a new deeper midfield role, but his performances were not recognised by boss Gareth Southgate.

Cook, 27, has one senior England cap, which came way back in March 2018.

England have a midfield conundrum this summer, with Southgate searching for a partner for Arsenal star Declan Rice.

Kalvin Phillips previously filled that role, but has been woefully out of form and did not make the squad.

Full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has started in midfield each of England’s first two group games in Germany, subbed off twice and replaced by Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher.

Southgate also called up inexperienced pair Kobbie Mainoo and Adam Wharton, but they have featured for just five minutes combined so far, ahead of tonight’s third group game against Slovenia (8pm).

Asked if he feels Cook should have been in the England conversation this summer, given his form for Cherries, Iraola told the Daily Echo: “He has been performing really well.

“You see stats and a lot of things where he can compare to a lot of very high level players in his position, English or not English.

“He will be a very good player for England, I am sure.

“But the same way as when you ask me about Dom (Solanke), I think it is very difficult, because he has very strong opposition.

“England right now is a top team and to be even considered is very difficult.”

Gareth Southgate gave Lewis Cook his England debutGareth Southgate gave Lewis Cook his England debut (Image: PA)

Former Cherries midfielder Darren Anderton earned 30 caps for England during his career, featuring at both the World Cup and Euros.

Discussing Cook, he told the Daily Echo, speaking in association with “I think he’s a great midfielder.

“I’ve watched a lot of the games.

“Bournemouth is of massive interest to me. It’s a club I absolutely love.

“I’ve enjoyed watching Bournemouth this year. I think they’ve been great.

“I think Lewis Cook is a fantastic footballer.

“He had a couple of injuries when he was right in and around the England squad.

“If he were to be involved, he wouldn’t let anyone down. He’s a good player.

“Of course there’s a lot of other players in that position. Mainoo coming through this year has been fantastic.

“I would be surprised if he wasn’t starting at some point in the tournament.

“But in terms of Lewis Cook, I think he’s just got to continue doing what he’s doing.

“I know what it’s like. You get those injuries and you’re out for a long time, it takes time to get back to your best.

“But I think he has to be commended for how quickly he’s got back to that standard.”