TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 21: Joe Cole #10 of Liverpool controls the ball against Toronto FC during the World Football Challenge friendly match on July 21, 2012 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
"I have spoken with Brendan and as far as I am concerned, I am here, I am looking forward to the season and we will go from there," says Joe Cole, who's back with Liverpool after a season-long loan as a squad player with Lille. "When I came here, I wanted to be part of the revival of this great club and help make it successful. Nothing has changed in that respect. I want to be part of this team and we all do together. There is no point looking back. That has been and gone. I am just looking forward to the season."
We've been here before--Cole wants to make a good impression, he's feeling more settled, likes Brendan Rodgers' playing style, etc. Problem is that he's Joe Cole, and he finds himself in a system that requires high levels of fitness and discipline in possession. He played in a system that he found to be fairly similar while in France, and relative to performances for Liverpool two seasons ago, he experienced success and proved that, given a confluence of other factors, he can still have a positive impact.
There's not really any sort of impact that Cole can make to justify the wages he's on, however, and at this point he runs a similar risk as Jamie Carragher--taking up space both financially and physically when talent could either be added or developed. Difference being that Carragher's obviously had a fine career with the club, whereas with Cole you can't really imagine that he's done anything to endear himself to the new manager to the point that he'd be selected ahead of... anyone, really.
Talk of his exit has quieted, and the club may very well be faced with keeping him beyond the August window. If that ends up being the case, he's a squad member for the Europa League and domestic cups at best, even with a fairly limited and inexperienced set of players in attack. Joe Cole from six years ago would be terrific, but the Joe Cole we saw in 2010-2011--and for most of his time on the pitch in Toronto--adds very little in any setup.
It'd be great if he came good, and there's certainly no reason to hope he doesn't. But assertions that he'll be around do very little for the club's need to add both depth and quality, because so far in his Liverpool career, he's provided neither.