Aston Villa recently brought in Joe Cole on a free transfer from West Ham United. The former England international has the capability to become a crucial player for Villa for the next few years. Still just 32 years old, the former Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder has a long time left in football. Paul Lambert managed to persuade Villa to offer Cole a two-year contract. He has played with little football in recent seasons due to injuries, but Cole appears to have put behind those problems. Former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie says that Lambert should consider playing the new signing in a central position.
Cole is widely known as a player capable of playing anywhere across the middle, but he has largely been used by clubs as winger – it’s not all been Plain Sailing for him. This started with Jose Mourinho employing him in this fashion when he came to Chelsea in 2004.
Cole moved to Liverpool with the ambition of returning to a central role, but even then it was not available to him. A poor spell at West Ham has followed, but Hendrie reckons that Cole will be able to prove his worth a more central position. Aston Villa are strong in this position due to the presence of options like Fabian Delph and it may take something special from Cole to get him in front.
“I was speaking to Joe on the plane and he was saying he’s been playing in a lot of different positions over the last five or six years. As a player sometimes you get pushed out. He was saying about being at Chelsea and playing out wide. He likes to be more in that central role where we know he’s going to be effective and he’s going to create stuff. That’s what we’ve been crying out for. I said that to Joe, it would be great to see him in that central role trying to slip balls through,” said Hendrie.