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Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Wednesday, 21 July 2010 14:22 UK

Liverpool sign Joe Cole after release by Chelsea

Joe Cole

Cole scores wonder goal for England (UK only)

Liverpool have completed the signing of Joe Cole on a four-year contract after the midfielder passed a medical.

The 28-year-old England international ended a seven-year stay with Premier League champions Chelsea in June after failing to agree a new contract.

He was linked to Arsenal and Tottenham but has opted for Liverpool, who failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Despite reports suggesting he would be handed the number seven shirt, Cole will wear number 10.

Cole's arrival follows winger Yossi Benayoun's move from Anfield to Chelsea for an undisclosed fee in July.

West Ham academy graduate Cole becomes Liverpool's second summer signing after Serbia forward Milan Jovanovic arrived on a three-year contract from Standard Liege.

Cole joined Chelsea from West Ham for £6.6m in 2003 and scored 40 goals in 282 appearances, winning three Premier League titles and two FA Cups.

In June he claimed unspecified "political rather than footballing reasons" had led to his departure and he wanted to play for "a manager who has faith in me," but he insisted Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti was not the cause of those problems.

606: DEBATE
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"It is not financial and it is nothing to do with Carlo," Cole said at the time. "I love Carlo. I think he is a top guy and a top manager.

"I loved my time at Chelsea, I love the fans but it is a story for another day and I will tell it but now is not the time."

After recovering from 10 months out with a ruptured cruciate ligament, Cole grew frustrated at having to settle for a bit-part role in his final season at the club, mainly as a substitute and often deployed wide rather than his preferred central position.

Cole has won 56 England caps, including two at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, on both occasions as a second-half substitute.

I've been an admirer of Joe's for the last few years. He is a player that excites fans and he is a player that we desperately needed

Former Reds defender Alan Kennedy

Having signed Cole, new Reds manager Roy Hodgson will hope to bolster his squad further with a new left-back following the departures of Fabio Aurelio and Emiliano Insua.

But Hodgson told fans the club's stagnation of recent years would not be wiped out overnight.

"Last season was a very disappointing season for the club in every respect, culminating in a popular manager leaving," he commented.

"You don't change doom and gloom or disenchantment with a signing or two.

"I would never want to dupe the Liverpool public by telling them all is rosy now because Joe Cole has signed.

"There's a lot more work to do, a lot more players are needed and we as a football team have got to make certain that when we take to the field the supporters will see there is something different and that we are making the biggest effort we can make.

"Then we can only hope they back us like they have always backed the club in the past.

"We have to get a good atmosphere back into the club, the Liverpool atmosphere that I've known and seen and experienced - often to my cost - over the years.

"We have to get away from the feeling that everything's not right and the club is going downhill because that isn't the case at all."

Captain Steven Gerrard and star striker Fernando Torres have both been linked with moves from Anfield.

But former Liverpool defender Alan Kennedy believes Cole's arrival could go some way to persuading them to stay.

"I'm delighted for the club," Kennedy told BBC Sport. "Roy has persuaded one of the best English players in the game to come in and that will only be good news for the club and for the players the club are looking to hold on to.

"I've been an admirer of Joe's for the last few years. He is a player that excites fans and he is a player that we desperately needed.

This shows we can still attract top name players

Former Liverpool striker Ian Rush

"We know Joe had a lot of options, especially from London, but he's looked at Liverpool and maybe thought to himself that he is the guy who can resurrect the club after what was a terrible season last year.

"Credit for that has to go to Roy Hodgson, I believe - he is a very persuasive man and a man well respected in football, so that's fantastic news."

Another former Red, Ian Rush, has said the signing underlines Liverpool's ability to still compete for the best players in the world, despite not being able to offer Champions League football.

"Liverpool might not have been successful as we would have liked to have been recently but this shows we can still attract top name players, whether that's an England international or a foreign international," commented the Welshman.

"I think this sends a sign out to Liverpool supporters that the club does mean business."



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see also
Anfield aura key to Cole decision
21 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Joe Cole's career in photos
20 Jul 10 |  Football
Riera completes Olympiakos move
23 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Gerrard set to stay at Liverpool
20 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Chelsea sign midfielder Benayoun
03 Jul 10 |  Chelsea
Man Utd rule out bid to sign Cole
23 Jun 10 |  Man Utd
Cole and Ballack to leave Chelsea
09 Jun 10 |  Chelsea
Cole to leave Chelsea - Redknapp
01 Jun 10 |  Chelsea
Cole completes Chelsea move
06 Aug 03 |  Chelsea


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