Grant gives Cole backing

Hammers boss admits deal would have been out of club's reach

Cole: Backed by Grant

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Avram Grant admits it would have cost West Ham United 'big money' to re-sign Joe Cole and is confident the midfielder will be a hit at Liverpool.

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Cole joined Liverpool on a free transfer last summer after leaving Chelsea, but he has struggled to make an impact at Anfield.

The England international has started only eight Premier League games for the Reds and has been unable to show the Merseyside faithful his best form.

He will return to first club West Ham on Sunday and Upton Park boss Grant expects Liverpool to eventually see the best of Cole's ability.

Good spirit

"Joe is a very good player, a very, very nice player. He has a good spirit and is good to any team on and off the pitch," said Grant.

"I think he started well, then he had an injury, and then it was not so good for him.

"Sometimes when you are injured it's not easy to come back and it was a little bit difficult for them but I am sure he will be very good for Liverpool. If not, then they can bring him to me."

The Hammers were interested in signing the 29-year-old before he joined Liverpool and were also keen on the playmaker in the January transfer window.

Grant would relish the chance to call on Cole, but acknowledged the player's wages proved to be out of West Ham's reach.

He added: "I will always want a player who plays so good.

"He belongs to Liverpool but I will always be happy if a player like this was in my team.

"But everyone knows the situation in our club. We had the opportunity to take him but for West Ham it was big money."