Former England star Joe Cole is making the switch from the English Premier to Ligue 1. Cole is set to join French champions Lille OSC following his deadline day transfer.
A move abroad could be just what Cole needs to rejuvenate his injury-plagued career. Cole told Lille's official website: ''I needed to have a new challenge and to go abroad, and Lille gave me that opportunity. The football played by Lille reminds me of the one played by Barcelona. I'd like the club to win the league title again this season."
But just what can Cole offer to Lille OSC? For one thing, Cole has excellent skill on the ball. He can also play on either wing or a central attacking midfield role.
The 29-year-old will most likely fit in as a winger, where he would replace Gervinho, who moved to Arsenal earlier this summer.
Can Cole earn a spot in England's Euro 2012 squad with a successful season in France? I really do not see it happening with Ashley Young, Stewart Downing, Adam Johnson and even Tom Cleverley ahead of the former England star.
That being said, if he stays healthy, Cole could indeed put in a fine season. The domestic league in France does not have quite the level of competition of the English Premier League, which can only make one fancy Cole's chances.
Cole is also likely to start in the majority of Lille's UEFA Champions League matches, and he already seems up for the challenge.
''The squad is young, but I'm here to help the team and bring my experience. It's a great challenge for me. I'm going to discover a different style of football, which can only be positive," said Cole.
The most important thing for Cole is that he will be finally get to play first-team football. Playing on a team that won the league last season and qualified for the Champions League is just icing on the cake for the Englishman.
He is surely set up for success in 2011-12, but the only question is: Can he stay fit?
Follow Shawn on Twitter: @etemadis
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