x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Liverpool secure Cole signing

Liverpool have signed the former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole, who was linked with possible moves to including Arsenal and Tottenham, on a free transfer.

Roy Hodgson made the first step in convincing Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres that their futures are with Liverpool by making Joe Cole his first summer signing today. Gerrard and Torres are thought to be unsettled at Anfield and concerned by the club's fall from second to seventh in the space of a season. But they are likely to have been impressed by Hodgson's first foray into the transfer market. Cole, 28, is at the peak of his powers and should help provide the creative spark Liverpool lacked during the latter part of Rafa Benitez's reign. He is likely to blend well with Gerrard, his England teammate, in the centre of the pitch and is likely to increase the supply line to Torres, who has often been starved for the ball. The deal for the free agent, who has signed a lucrative four-year-deal to join the Merseysiders, represents a shrewd piece of business by the club who have well-documented financial problems. They sold Yossi Benayoun to Chelsea for £5.5 million (Dh30.84m) and have replaced him with Cole, who is two years younger than the Israeli playmaker.

* Agencies