Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink reckons England did not appreciate Joe Cole enough, before adding many are clamouring for a player like him right now.
Cole has recently called time on his playing career that spanned 20 years, with the 37-year-old most recently playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies at the United Soccer League – the second-tier club competition in the United States.
Having joined Chelsea in 2003 as one of the initial marquee signings in the Roman Abramovich era, the midfielder went on to establish himself as a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge, where he won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a League Cup. On an individual note, Cole was also named as the club’s Player of the Year in the 2007-2008 season. Blessed with pace, vision, passing and striking abilities, the London native mesmerised while playing anywhere across the midfield.
Yet for all the creativity the ex-England international has shown throughout his seven seasons with the Blues, Hasselbaink, a former teammate of Cole, believes fans could have been more appreciative of what the midfielder brought to the English game before adding this kind of player with natural talent on the ball is something currently missed by many in England right now.
“I would have liked to have seen him playing more in England. I don’t think we appreciated him enough and now you are gagging for a player like him, to have that kind of creativity. You are missing somebody like him,” said the former Chelsea striker, who played the 2003-2004 season with Cole at West London.
“What a player he was when he came to Chelsea. Juan Sebastian Veron said ‘no, you need to have the number 10’ because of how he was as a player.
“Technically so good, such a good guy. So much ability. If you look back at what he has achieved as a player, absolutely magnificent.
“He used to do things with the ball nobody else could do. It was a pleasure and I wish him all the best in the next chapter.”