By Kevin Koczwara
Joe Cole has not had the easiest of times since joining Liverpool on a free transfer from Chelsea. The former England International had his contract expire at Chelsea and then Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson snapped up the midfielder as one of his marquee signings. It just didn’t work out for Cole — much like many of Hodgson’s signings — and now he has returned to his first club, West Ham United on a free transfer after Liverpool made a £3 million pay-off to the player
Cole made 42 appearances for Liverpool, scoring five goals during his two-year spell with the club. His last contribution to the team came against his new employers during a 3-2 win over the Hammers at Upton Park in December when he scored one of his five goals. But injuries and a lack of math fitness hampered Cole during his time at the club. In his first appearance for Liverpool he was shown a red card.
Rodgers on Joe Cole to West Ham: "He's a good guy. He's never been a minute's problem but Joe needed to play. He's going home." #LFC—
Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 04, 2013
Cole’s form was enigmatic enough that the club loaned him out to Ligue 1 side Lille last year, where he showed sparkles of his ability, scoring nine goals in 42 appearances. But Cole’s wages and lack of playing time forced Liverpool’s hand in moving the player. Liverpool made a large sum payoff to the player to get him off the books and relieve the club uf an expected £7 million in wages over the remainder of his contract.
West Ham United is where Cole began his career and the midfielder was pleased with the move.
“It is a great move for me. 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,” Cole told West Ham’s official website.
“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,” he continued.
Cole signed an 18-month contract with West Ham and will wear the No.26 jersey for the team. He vacates the No.10 jersey at Liverpool.