Ligue 1 - Benitez backs Cole to shine in France

Tue, 27 Sep 09:56:00 2011

Rafael Benitez has backed Joe Cole to thrive at Lille after the on-loan Liverpool midfielder scored his first goal for the French champions.

Joe Cole Lille - 0

Liverpool loaned out the England midfielder after he fail to settle at Anfield, having been brought in by Benitez's successor Roy Hodgson.

Cole has settled quickly in Ligue 1, and netted a brilliant goal in Saturday's 1-1 draw against Lorient.

The 29-year-old is expected to start Tuesday's Champions League game away to Trabzonspor, and Benitez was quick to praise his talent and versatility.

"He's a player with ability, he's a skilful player," said Benitez on Eurogoals.

"When you're used to playing in the Premier League, you're used to playing physically; you're used play against players who will tackle you hard. So if he's protected by the referees, I think that he can play well."

"Joe Cole likes to play as a second striker. So it depends on his position, because sometimes he plays as a left winger or right winger.

"And I think that (Eden) Hazard has the ability to find him. They can play together and it will be a good partnership."

Eurogoals : The Boss Benit

See Rafa Benitez and Arsene Wenger give their expert analysis every Monday on Eurogoals on British Eurosport.


Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account