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Veteran midfielder Joe Cole saw his first action with the U21s today as he works back from injury in the hopes of finally making an impact for Liverpool's first team.
For those still worrying about how Liverpool's depth—or lack thereof—will hold up over an entire season even with a number of kids having so far shown a great deal of promise, there's news today on the Joe Cole injury front. Whether or not a healthy Cole actually helps Liverpool's depth is another question entirely, but with the player still on the club's payroll and working towards full fitness after an injury that occurred early in the season when he toppled out of the shop window and back onto the trainer's table, it was only a matter of time before the possibility of him playing for the first team again would come up.
And it appears that time is now—or at the very least very soon—after Cole scored a goal during his 60 minute sauntering comeback with Liverpool's U21 side. Cole, of course, hasn't been 21 years old for some time now, but with the U21 Premier League largely supplanting the traditional reserve set up for English clubs there is a necessary allowance for three overage players in the matchday squad that allows a handful of players returning from injury to see time in a less heated environment regardless of age.
While it's nice to see Cole getting over his latest knock from a purely personal standpoint given he comes across as an entirely decent human being when his wages and declining footballing ability are taken out of the equation, hopefully it won't mean one of the kids who has received a chance at first team action in his absence are now relegated to make room.
Also, for those who have been keeping track of Liverpool's youth set up and have wondered happened to Joao Carlos Teixeira following his move to the club last winter, the young Portuguese has finally overcome his fitness issues and was able to make his debut alongside Cole in the squad that faced Fulham's U21 side on Monday. In addition to Cole, Adam Morgan and Kristjan Adorjan also scored in an easy 3-0 win.