Liverpool winger Joe Cole has told the club that he is ready to return if they are willing to give him a second chance to prove himself.
Former West Ham and Chelsea star Cole made a high-profile switch from Stamford Bridge to Anfield in 2010 but failed to make an impression in his debut season at Merseyside.
He was subsequently loaned to Lille for the entire last season and despite some initial doubts on his ability to regain top form, the England international thrived under pressure to help his French side finish third in Ligue 1.
Having made over 30 appearances for Lille last season, Cole has drawn their interest to buy him permanently but if the incoming Reds manager assures him that he has a future at Liverpool, the 30-year old will be happy to return.
“It’s in their hands but the fire still burns for me and I would love the chance to put it right there. I was a success at West Ham, a success at Chelsea, and I’ve gone to France and had a good season, but there was just that one season at Liverpool,” Cole told Sky Sports.
Reflecting on his Liverpool experience, he added: “You look at the amount of game time that I had and it was five minutes here, three minutes there for the six months that I was playing for Kenny [Dalglish] – but he was a good guy and he didn’t lie to me.
“I wasn’t in his plans but I was professional, I trained hard and worked for my chance, but it never came and it just didn’t work for me. It might change my future [now that a new manger is coming in].
“It was clear before Kenny got the sack that I wouldn’t be going back there, but who knows what will happen now? I am just waiting on some kind of information.”
If the Reds choose not to offer him a return, Cole will be happy to continue his exciting challenge in France.
“There has been a little switch in me this season as I’ve never been the big-name player at a club before. But I feel like I have helped them [the Lille youngsters] by leading by example and doing extra work,” Cole explained.
He elaborated: “It has opened my mind, I have learned a lot and it is something I think all young English footballers should do.They should experience it just to know what foreign footballers go through when they come to our country.
“In London everything is 1000 miles an hour but out here everyone is so relaxed – lunch lasts two hours, dinner lasts three – and it suits me.
“I have come out here for a new challenge and it’s been good. I have got to play a lot of games in central midfield like the good old days, which I really enjoyed, and it has been a great experience.”
Cole’s signing was considered to be a major acquisition for the Reds during the Roy Hodgson era but even the new England manager passed on the chance to include him in the final 23-man squad for Euro 2012.
The midfielder has no bitterness over that snub either, insisting that he will proudly return for the Three Lions if summoned.
“I’d love to force my way back in and pull on that shirt again. It will be a big achievement because two years out of the squad is a long time but I’ll never give up,” he concluded.