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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 August, 2003, 19:02 GMT 20:02 UK
Cole completes Chelsea move
Joe Cole
It's been a difficult decision but I feel it is time to leave West Ham
Joe Cole
Chelsea have completed the 6.6m signing of West Ham midfielder Joe Cole.

The 21-year-old passed a medical and agreed personal terms and will be eligible for Chelsea's Champions League campaign after beating the Thursday deadline.

Cole told Chelsea TV: "I'm looking to learn from the players we have got here.

"First and foremost, the challenge is to get into the side when you come to a club like this, but I'm ready for that and I'll always give 100 percent every game.

"I used to come to Chelsea to watch, I used to sit in The Shed a lot.

"I used to love watching good players - I used to love watching Dennis Wise and before that Kerry Dixon. I just love my football."

Hours after Cole completed his move, Manchester United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron put pen to paper on his 15m transfer, taking Chelsea's summer spree to over 58m.

New Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich had already lavished 37m on Damien Duff, Geremi, Wayne Bridge and former West Ham right-back Glen Johnson.

Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri was fulsome in his praise for Cole after his side's 4-1 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road on Tuesday.

"Without Gianfranco (Zola), I need a player who can dribble - and I think Joe Cole is that kind of player," said Ranieri.

"He can play in any midfield position from the left to the right, or behind the front two.

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"He's fantastic one-on-one. He's very clever and passes the ball very well.

"I like him when a match is close. He can dribble, pass and score a goal. He's strong and an Englishman.

"When I arrived, I said I'd like a blend of young English players and experienced players. Slowly, slowly, that is possible."

West Ham director Trevor Brooking had already revealed on Tuesday that the Hammers may be forced to make "one more significant sale" to finance the rebuilding of their own squad.

But now they claim there is no pressure to sell anyone else - although Manchester United could test that resolve with a bid for Jermain Defoe.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Chelsea's Joe Cole
"I want to test myself against the best players"


Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri
"One-on-one Cole is very clever"





WEST HAM UNITED

CHELSEA

SEE ALSO
Veron signs for Chelsea
06 Aug 03  |  Chelsea
Watford 1-4 Chelsea
05 Aug 03  |  Football


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