Joe Cole returns to his boyhood club West Ham




Upton Park sees one of their home grown product returns home after 9 years. Joe Cole who came from West Ham’s youth system is set to make a 2nd debut for the club, after rejecting a move to QPR. He was on the free agent list and was wanted by his former manager Harry Redknapp to save the Ranger’s from relegation. But the 31 year old chose to return to his boyhood club West Ham instead. Cole was touted as the hottest prospect in English football when he was 16, but the midfielder failed to live up to the mark and jaded away with a series of injuries. Cole was at his best in Chelsea, but the Englishman had a few career threatening injuries. The move to Liverpool wasn’t impressive either. The one year loan spell at Lille has done Cole a world of good. The Englishman has re earned his flair and trait which eventually sees him with the Hammers after a move from Liverpool as a free agent.

Joe Cole returns to his boyhood club West Ham

Joe Cole returns to his boyhood club West Ham

At a tender age of 16 Manchester United offered him a contract of £10 million but the Englishman refused a move and stayed with the Hammers. He was a child prodigy at West Ham and made his debut in January 1999.Since then Cole has been an integral part of the Hammer’s squad. The pace, ability to get past defenders, creating a hole in the defence made Cole really special. At an age of 21 the captain’s armband of West Ham found its way to Cole. It was all going good until West Ham got relegated in 2003 following a draw to Birmingham City, forcing Cole to join Chelsea.

His career at Chelsea was well set, with injuries to wingers Robben and Duff which saw him become a regular member of the Chelsea squad. He made the most of his chances and scored as many as he could which eventually saw Chelsea win the league in 2004-05.One of his goals was voted in the top ten goals of the season.2005-06 season’s performance saw him earn a 4 year deal with Chelsea and subsequently he was named in the PFA team of the season. Following a couple of good seasons with Chelsea Cole found himself on the injury list with a series of injuries. He suffered from cruciate ligament damage in his knee which troubled him more often. The attacking midfielder started to lose his sheen and found him out of favor which saw him move to Liverpool as a free agent.

Liverpool signed Cole on a 4 year deal which saw him in a number 10 jersey. Cole was to receive £90,000 a week wage. But the Englishman failed to make a strong impression at Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish and was loaned to the French giants Lille. Lille was a place where Cole rediscovered himself and brought a best out of him. Scoring became a regular habit and the manager was impressed with the Englishman. Rudi Garcia, Lille manager expressed his desire to keep Cole at Lille. But Brendan Rodgers wanted the player to rejoin the Liverpool squad.

The January transfer window saw West Ham re sign their starlet after 10 years on a 18 month deal. Cole who is 31 might have lost his pace and physical ability, but can certainly help West Ham finish as a mid table side. Cole will certainly miss his old partner Micheal Carrick but will be happy with the addition of Arsenal striker Chamakh. A man who has won 3 premier league titles and 2 FA Cups might look to see out his career at Upton Park where it all started for him.

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