Joe Cole: Did the Chelsea star fulfil his potential?

With 3 Premier League titles and 283 Chelsea appearances to his name, Joe Cole, achieved an enormous amount in his career. But could he have done more? His old boss sure seems to think so.

Blessed with incredible talent, the Londoner was always destined for great things. Touted as a ‘child prodigy’, Cole generated interest throughout his youth career, with many spouting rumours that he possessed the talent of a young Paul Gascoigne.

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With tremendous versatility and the footballing IQ of a player far beyond his years, he rocketed through West Ham’s youth system, before making his debut in 1998.

During his spell with ‘The Irons’, he blew fans at Upton Park away with his speed, power and remarkable creativity. He became particularly well-known for his sublime dribbling skills, often leaving defenders in the dust.

Utilising his tremendous vision, he had the capability of creating and scoring goals, and unsurprisingly, he caught Chelsea’s attention and made his move to Stamford Bridge.

Cole continued to impress under Jose Mourinho, earning praise from Brazilian icon, Pele, who claimed: “He has the skills of a Brazilian.”

However, slowly but surely, things started to unravel. He suffered recurring injuries before things worsened after he failed to live up to expectations at Liverpool. Ultimately, Cole tumbled further down the pyramid, ending up retiring with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Don’t get us wrong, with 56 England caps to his name, he certainly made a name for himself. However, his old gaffer thinks he could’ve done so much more.

Harry Redknapp thinks Joe Cole could’ve done more at Chelsea

The midfielder rose to fame under the tutelage of Harry Redknapp during his time with ‘The Irons’. And the 75-year-old still remembers just how special he was.

Speaking to Reece Mennie on his podcast, the football icon said: “I thought Joe could have been one of the best players in the world, he was that good. As an 11 or 12-year-old, I’d never seen anything like it. It was crazy how good he was. When he went to Chelsea he won everything, played for England lots of times and had a great career, but I wonder when he went to Chelsea if he was put in a position – he was a number 10 really and a player who you just let play; wherever the ball is you just go and get it, like how Messi gets it where he wants, can stand still, get the ball into him and play, win the game or do something for us.”

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He continued: “I think he went to Chelsea and ended up playing out wide, and I remember him playing at Fulham one day about half an hour in and Chelsea were getting beat, and him and Shawn Wright-Phillips both got subbed, because he wasn’t tracking back or whatever. That wasn’t his game. Joe was a free player. He was the best schoolboy player I’d seen.”

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