Is This Premiership Veteran Precisely What Brendan Rogers Needs?
Joe Cole has a point to prove. Having enjoyed a loan season at Lille, the former Chelsea man has been training with a purpose at Melwood recently in attempts to win over the new management on Merseyside according to the Mirror.
With news on the transfer front seeming relatively quiet at Liverpool in the weeks since Rodgers’ arrival, apart from the Gylfi Sigurdsson flirtation, Joe Cole’s return to the Reds camp has been the main talking point for most fans so far this summer. Will he fit into Rodgers’ possession heavy system? Does he have what it takes to return to the form of his past and help steer Liverpool back into Champions League contention?
Cole may turn out to be a phenomenon at Anfield a second time around. No one can criticize the determination to succeed he has brought on his return to Anfield. The former Chelsea man is also full of experience, having been a part of Jose Mourinho’s title winning teams whilst playing for the Blues, playing for England in multiple competitions and helping Lille to a Champions League position this year in Ligue 1.
He would certainly be a welcome addition to the squad from a certain perspective, bringing his European experience and Premier League medals to Anfield as they strive to ultimately win their 19th crown in the not so distant future.
That being said, experience is not enough to bring a player back to a side, especially for £90,000 a week in wages. Cole has got to prove he has the ability to start and deliver for Liverpool for such money, something that I’m not too sure he can do. True he still has good technical ability yet he has failed to achieve his form under Jose Mourinho for quite some time. In addition, at 30 years of age, one has to ask what he will bring to the side other than experience, particularly as his pace has seemed to decline in the last couple of years.
The first reason why the Merseyside club may be restricted is Cole’s aforementioned wages. If they are to arrange a deal to get rid of the England international then surely they will have to find someone to pay the rest of his two year, £90,000 a week contract. This feat will certainly not be easy – Cole is not an attractive prospect for the big spending clubs and may be out of the price range of others who may look to acquire his services. It will be most likely that Cole will have to take a pay cut to arrange a move from Anfield, yet seeing how the midfielder is content to stay then the whole scenario may become difficult due to this astronomical contract.
Secondly the acquisitions of Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing will have an impact. Liverpool made two hefty investments in acquiring these England internationals last summer from Sunderland and Aston Villa respectively. Downing showed flashes of brilliance in periods last year, whilst Henderson’s development (albeit small) were seen towards the end of the season. Liverpool cannot afford to discard players who they’ve invested so heavily in, and arguably who have a greater upside, than 30-year-old Cole.
The facts are simple. If they can Liverpool should try and sell the former Chelsea man. Only this week they had to back out of the race to sign Gylfi Sigurdsson due to high wage demands, space in their budget that could have been found with the offloading of Cole.
Liverpool need to look forward and develop this summer if they are to contend for the Champions League. To do that, they need to spend money on new players and not pin their hopes on those who’ve tried and failed.