Roy Hodgson has admitted England are missing former captain John Terry.
The Chelsea defender retired from international duty in 2012 after 78 appearances for the Three Lions.
Terry claimed the Football Association had made his position untenable by holding a disciplinary case against him after he had been acquitted in court of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during a Chelsea game at QPR.
The 35-year-old has continued to impress for Chelsea while in international exile and Hodgson says that the left-sided centre-back left a big hole in England’s central defence which has yet to be filled.
There appears little chance of Terry making a shock recall for this summer’s European Championship, however, despite Hodgson’s admission.
“There are, in my opinion, no left-sided centre-backs who are English playing in the league who are at least at the level of the ones we are choosing,” said the England boss, whose side have shipped four goals in their last two friendly games.
“That’s a fact of life and there’s not much we can do about it.
“I’m not 100 per cent certain outside of John Terry, because he’s retired so long ago and he doesn’t feature in my thinking too often.
“But I can’t deny that is a valid point. He is a left-sided centre-half, although not a left-sided player. He’s right-footed, but he retired four years ago.
“I had a long chat with John the other day, he’s a lovely fella.”