Writer: Gavin John Day
Date:Friday January 4 2013
Reds midfielder Joe Cole has ended his disappointing spell at Anfield by rejoining boyhood club West Ham United...
Former England star Joe Cole has signed for West Ham United after Liverpool agreed to let the 31-year-old leave on a free transfer.
News of the move was finally confirmed by both parties today and Cole is available to make his second Hammers debut against Manchester United in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Upon completing the deal, the player discussed the move with Whufc.com and revealed his happiness at the outcome.
"It is a great move for me," commented the 56-cap international.
"Coming back here brings back all the memories of the pitches I learnt how to play on. This is where I learnt my trade and I'm happy to have another chance to be here. I've always loved West Ham and I hope I can give the club a few memorable seasons.
"The timing was right for me to come back and I'm happy. I'm back in London and I'm delighted to be here. I want to be here and I want to make an impact."
The deal for Cole to move back to Upton Park, where he played previously until 2003, was sweetened by a £3m compromise pay-off from Liverpool to effectively end the lucrative four-year contract Cole signed when arriving from Chelsea in 2010.
The decision, although costly, makes commercial sense for the club as they will save several million when compared to paying his full £90k-a-week wage for the remaining 18 months of the contract.
From a football perspective, Cole's time at Anfield never really got going and the tone was set by a red card on his league debut against Arsenal.
A combination of niggling injuries and inconsistent form then saw a succession of Liverpool manager's use the technically gifted operator only sparingly.
During his career at Liverpool, Cole made 42 appearances and scored 5 goals. He also spent a period on loan at Lille in France last season.
His departure had been widely expected especially after Queens Park Rangers' manager Harry Redknapp revealed recently that he wanted to sign Cole but that the player already had his heart set on returning to West Ham.
Sam Allardyce's London-based side have been one of the most active in the early stages of the current transfer window with 18-year-old Irish striker Sean Maguire also signed and Arsenal reserve forward Marouane Chamakh likely to join shortly.
Elsewhere, one time Reds midfielder Yossi Benayoun's loan spell at the club looks to be over with the player set to be sent back to parent club Chelsea where he will be reunited with Rafael Benitez.
Given Cole's undoubted ability it is a big surprise that his time at Liverpool was so unsuccessful. As well as his issues with injuries, the tactics and formations employed by current boss Brendan Rodgers' predecessors, Kenny Dalglish and Roy Hodgson, probably didn't help get the best from a player who likes to float around the pitch and play with an air of freedom to his game. Although signed on a free, Cole will have received a sizeable signing-on fee in addition to his astronomical wages which makes the transfer a financial disaster for the club. Cole therefore joins a list of quality players such as Robbie Keane, Fernando Morientes and Harry Kewell who never reached the heights expected from them, for one reason or another, in recent times. That said, there was no shortage of effort when selected and Vital Liverpool would like to wish Cole all the best for the remainder of his career.
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Date:Friday January 4 2013
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