Reports today suggest that Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is hoping to put his side at the front of the queue, in front of Manchester United, in the race to sign Ashley Young this summer by offering to swap Joe Cole as a part of the deal. The last time this happened Villa ended up with £16m and the apparently £8m rated Stephen Ireland so that didn’t end too great but the former England international and up to now Anfield flop may well arouse Houllier’s interest.
When Cole, 29, joined the Reds last summer many people, myself included, were touting the free transfer to be one of the signings of the season but it never really panned out that way! On his league debut he was sent off in the 1-1 opening day draw with Arsenal and after coming back from suspension he missed a penalty in Europe. Injuries have hampered his progression since and have done for the last 3 or 4 years in all honesty and it now seems that Liverpool are keen to offload their highly paid, highly crocked asset.
Having already agreed a deal to bring French winger Sylvain Marveaux to the club, it appears Cole’s days are numbered and a move to a club like Villa will be an interesting option to the attacking midfielder. The rumours suggest that, what with Young’s contract being up next year, a bid of around £8m plus Cole will be made. This seems way to low for me and I would be after a fee close to double that amount in order to take the risk on the one-time England star.
At his prime Cole was keeping the likes of Young out of the England left wing slot after numerous man of the match displays under Sven but his career took a turn for the worse when he picked up injuries during the 2006/07 and 2008/09 seasons whilst at Chelsea. He has failed to shake off his injury proneness this term and has featured just 15 times in the league this season, starting just 8 and completing the 90 minutes on a desperate 4 occassions. He has 1 goal and 1 assist to his name in his limited outings.
His best Premier League seasons came for the Blues during the 04/05 and 05/06 seasons. Over the two campaigns he netted 15 league goals in just 37 league starts, picking up 9 assists in the process and if he could recapture this form he would certainly be an asset but I can’t see it happening. In my opinion he is worth a punt if we can get anything between £15-20m as well but £8m is way off, despite Young’s contract situation. More reports today suggest that Villa have told prospective buyers that they will need to fork out £25m to tempt the club into a sale. Thoughts?
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