Joe Cole: Why Queens Park Rangers Shouldn't Sign the Liverpool Midfielder
With the transfer window due to open after Christmas, and Tony Fernandes renowned for spending in the holiday sales, the rumor mill is rife with lists of players QPR are apparently going to be bidding for.
Various media outlets have been reporting an emotional reunion between Joe Cole and Harry Redknapp come January, with the Express claiming a loan deal is nearly set for the player if wages can be agreed.
But do QPR actually need him?
This is by no means a Joe Cole bashing session. In fact, I do actually really like him as a player, but there are circumstances surrounding him which all point toward this being a very bad signing for Queens Park Rangers.
In essence, Cole epitomizes everything which the QPR fans detested about their summer transfer policy, and here's why.
Firstly, Cole is a player who has entered his 30s. As the aforementioned Beckham and many other players have shown, your career doesn't have to end as soon as you hit the big 3-0. However, the average age at QPR is 29.5 (via transfermarkt.co.uk), with 12 of the 25-man squad in their 30s. And Rangers need to be planning for the future, not holding on to the past.
Although age is nothing but a number, do QPR really need another ex-international who is past his prime?
Redknapp, if he does go through with this transfer, may still have claret-and-blue tinted glasses on as he reminiscences about a young Cole causing havoc in a West Ham shirt. But that is not the Cole we know today.
His first season at the club was hit-and-miss (the red card on his debut probably not his finest moment), and when Roy Hodgson was sacked, Kenny Dalglish didn't hold Cole in the same respect and sent him out on loan to Ligue 1. He played well when at Lille last season (via Daily Telegraph), but upon return to England was hit by injury once more.
A player who has seen more physio benches than goal celebrations is not what Rangers need right now. Despite having a penchant for injury-prone players (mentioning no names Kieron Dyer, Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora), this is one which QPR should steer clear from if they are to make good use of whatever transfer budget will be available to them in the winter.
However, should Cole actually make the move to West London and pass the medical, there is still the question of where he would fit in to the starting XI.
He primarily plays as an attacking midfielder. But QPR already have one of those in Adel Taarabt, and fans and manager alike will not be willing to substitute out such a fresh young talent.
He can also play down both wings, and although QPR do not necessarily have an out-and-out left-sided midfielder, it would mean dropping one of Stephane Mbia, Samba Diakite, Alejandro Faurlin or Esteban Granero—not to mention Ji-Sung Park and Junior Hoilett, who are waiting on the bench for their chance under Redknapp.
Do you want to see Joe Cole at Loftus Road?
Cole is supposedly on £90,000 a week (via Mirror Football), which is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum of player wages Fernandes and co should be looking at, albeit it only on a loan-basis.
With relegation a real possibility, QPR should be looking to save money, not spend it.
Rangers are not missing talent in midfield. Yes, Cole is definitely better than some on the books at Loftus Road, but another overpaid, injury prone, aging midfielder is not high up on Harry's agenda. QPR need at least one striker and one defender before any talk of adding to the midfield should begin.
Cole can undoubtedly still cut it in the Premier League. But the combination of the desire to cut costs, the need improve on weaker areas of Rangers' squad and Cole's age and injury record makes him an undesirable prospect.
But will Harry agree? And do you? Let me know below.
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