Could Sherwood be the man to save this Villa star's career?

Aston Villa

Aston Villa midfielder Joe Cole has struggled for fitness and form for a number of years, with his career seemingly coming to an end.

Aston Villa's Joe Cole has been nowhere near his best for some time, but Tim Sherwood will be hoping that he can help the attacking midfielder rekindle some of the magic which made him such a threat in his younger years.

Cole has struggled to stay off the treatment table throughout recent seasons and he appears to be coming towards the end of his career.

A series of injury problems have hampered his progress, with his time on the pitch limited. 

Cole has made just 10 appearances since arriving at Villa last summer, but he is fit again now and Sherwood would be well rewarded if he were able to coax him back to somewhere near his best.

The England international was one of the most exciting attacking talents in the country at his peak and Villa would dearly love to have someone of that quality in their squad at the moment.

The Claret and Blue have failed to create chances and score goals this season, with Sherwood already stating his desire to make them more of an attacking threat. 

To do this he will need to inject some spark and ideas into their play and Cole is surely a player who could do this.

The 33-year-old proved that he still has something to offer with his display against Burnley earlier in the campaign, but the challenge for him is to reach those standards on a consistent basis.

On that day, back in November, Cole tormented the Burnley defence and he scored Villa's goal in what was a fine showing.

Since, though, he has regressed with his fitness struggles persisting and his form seemingly suffering as a result. 

It has been a worrying deterioration, but at this stage of the season his experience, know-how and talent could be crucial to Villa.

Sherwood will know this and he could well make getting Cole back to his best one of his priorities at Villa Park. 

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch