Joe Cole is now former-Chelsea attacker Joe Cole, having moved on a free transfer to Anfield this morning. The newest Liverpool player signed a four-year deal to join Roy Hodgson, leaving Stamford Bridge after seven seasons.
Cole still has to undergo medical examinations at Liverpool but is expected to complete his move later this week, making the Reds his third club, having started his career with West Ham United. He moved to Chelsea in 2003, making 183 league appearances and scoring 28 goals during his time at the Bridge. There he was a member of three Premier League-winning teams, also accumulating two FA Cup winner's medals.
Cole had been connected with a stay in London, with Tottenham and Arsenal linked to the England international while Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti expressed confidence in retaining the attacker. Cole had also reportedly received a large salaried offer from West Ham but decided to move out of the capital (and out of Champions League) to join Liverpool.
Cole becomes Liverpool's second major acquisition of the summer, having also brought-in Milan Jovanovic from Standard Liège; however, Cole's profile as an England international is already being termed as key to Liverpool's ability to retain Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, the Reds' two stars who are said to want last year's seventh place finishers to bring in new talent.
If Torres and Gerrard's reactions mimic those of the Liverpool faithful, Cole's signing will be a huge step toward keeping last year's team together. Early coverage from Liverpool called the Cole signing "the transfer coup of the summer."