Unhappy Anfield stay finally over for Joe Cole as he returns to Upton Park.
Joe Cole has completed his move from Liverpool to West Ham United on a free transfer, bringing the midfielder back to the club where he began his career.
The 31-year-old, who has been capped 56 times for England, has inked an 18-month contract with the Hammers, a decade after leaving the east London side for capital rivals Chelsea.
“It is a great move for me,” he was quoted as saying on the club’s website whufc.com. “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.
“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.”
Cole, whose time at Liverpool saw him spend last season on loan at French Ligue 1 side Lille, said he was looking forward to playing under manager Sam Allardyce and “excited” to return to his roots.
“Sam didn’t have to sell me the club for me to come back. For me, I have had 18 months at Liverpool where I haven’t played much football and Sam wants to play me,” he added.
“I’m going to need games to get back to my best but I want to play football and come here and help the team to make an impact…
“I feel like I owe the club a little bit as well because if it wasn’t for West Ham I wouldn’t be a footballer. This club’s great youth-team coaches taught me the trade.”
Cole’s first spell at the club saw him play alongside the likes of Paolo Di Canio, Michael Carrick, Frank Lampard, Jermain Defoe and Trevor Sinclair and in 1999 was part of the Claret and Blues’ FA Youth Cup-winning team.
The player’s move was widely expected after he was reported on Thursday to be undergoing a medical.
West Ham are currently mid-table in the Premier League and take on Manchester United in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
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