It would be fair to say that Joe Cole hasn’t exactly made the impression at Anfield that a lot of people thought he would. However, after managing to get a full season of football under his belt in France last term, the former England international claims that he is setting his sights on the first team as he recovers from a hamstring problem that has kept him out since August.
Cole joined the Reds on a free transfer from Chelsea in 2010 and while it seemed like a shrewd piece of business at the time, the 30-year-old has been unable to establish himself as a regular on Merseyside. He was farmed out on loan to Lille last term and while he did make a positive impression in Ligue 1, he was recalled to Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers wanted to analyse all of his players before he made any decisions regarding their future. Still, several sources claimed that after watching Cole, Rodgers was looking to offload the former West Ham midfielder to generate funds for new players.
However, Cole is looking to put such events behind him and concentrate on getting back into the first team picture. He was named in Liverpool’s under-21’s squad against Fulham and stamped his authority on the game by netting a goal. Following on from this performance, the player said, “It was nice to get out there and play and I felt okay fitness-wise. I was happy and it’s a case of onwards and upwards now and hopefully I can be available for the first team. I think the manager will probably assess my fitness and we’ll go from there. I need to get back in the first team. I want to be out there playing.”
With Rodgers bringing in several midfielders of his own over recent months, it remains to be seen if Cole realises his first team dream.