Thompson: Cole can start a 'new era' at Liverpool
Former Liverpool coach Phil Thompson believes the signing of England star Joe Cole can be the catalyst for a "new era" at the club.
The attacking midfielder, 28, has shunned interest from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham to move to Anfield and be a part of new manager Roy Hodgson's plans for the club.
Thompson, who played for the Reds for 13 years before joining the backroom team and eventually becoming assistant manager under Gerard Houllier, is elated by the news.
He feels Cole, who was a free agent following his release by Chelsea, will not only improve the team but also encourage other signings and - crucially - persuade the likes of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay following the disappointment of last season.
"I'm absolutely delighted," Thompson told Sky Sports News.
"We need that player, the catalyst between midfield and attack. It all adds up for me.
"Joe Cole has that bit of character, the can do something out of nothing, he that creative ability that Torres comes alive to, Gerrard too.
"It's the kind of news all fans wanted. We've got thousands of people waiting for season tickets but everyone is going to be renewing them now. Everyone will have Joe Cole's name on their shirt.
"It's the start of a new era, we'll be looking for more new players and it could be a glorious summer for the fans. They will be delighted.
"I think (Hodgson) has had a chat with Torres, met with Steven Gerrard and he'll have been saying to them 'we've got a chance of getting Joe Cole'. Buying Joe will tell them all is not lost."
David Fairclough, a team-mate of Thompson's in Liverpool sides of the 70s and 80s, was equally enthused by the news.
He believes Liverpool fans already have a good appreciation of Cole's qualities, having been on the receiving end of them in the past.
"It's excellent news and very positive. It shows they mean business," he told Sky Sports News.
"He's a player Liverpool fans have always taken to.
"He's scored goals against us, offered support (to the strikers) and always been a genuine threat. The Liverpool fans have always feared Joe Cole's threat, I think.
"It's exciting the club have gone after a really top player."