Aston Villa's Joe Cole admits interest in Championship loan

The former Chelsea midfielder has made just one substitute appearance in the League Cup for Sherwood's men this season.

Aston Villa midfielder Joe Cole has admitted to talkSPORT that he is interested in making a loan move to the Championship in order to secure regular first-team football.

Cole, 33, joined Villa on a free transfer in June 2014 after his contract at West Ham United expired but a series of hamstring injuries ended up restricting him to just five starts and 10 substitute appearances during his first season in the Midlands.

The former England international has since got a full pre-season under his belt but, with manager Tim Sherwood also revamping his squad with 11 new signings, he has had to settle for just one 60-minute substitute appearance so far this term in the 5-3 Capital One Cup third round win over Notts County.

With his situation not expected to improve over the coming months, a report in Telegraph earlier this week claimed that the ex-Chelsea man has held talks about his future at the club and is keen to make a short-term move to the second tier.

 2014-15 Premier League GoalsAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesCrossing AccuracyTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Joe Cole 1 1 7 84% 16 25% 4 75% 12 279

Cole has now confirmed that he is looking into that option, telling talkSPORT: “I’m so hungry to play. I’m fit and have done my first full pre-season in years.

“I’ve got some games with the Under-21s but we’ve got a massive squad up here and the gaffer’s signed about 12 or 13 players who he’s trying to bed in.

“But I’m desperate to play. I’m looking to maybe move down a level on loan just to play football, but my first thoughts are doing the right thing for Villa and the lads.

“My main concern at the moment is helping Villa but I do want that feeling of playing and competing again on a Saturday and winning games.

“You never know how long you’ve got left in this game and I’m just hungry to play.”

Cole, whose Villa deal expires next summer, has shown some flashes of his former brilliance when able to feature for the club but, at this stage of his career, it’s hard to see him becoming much more than a bit-part contributor in Sherwood’s side.

At the same time, though, his manager has continued to stress that his experience both on the training ground and in the dressing room is vital to the club during their current rebuild, telling the Birmingham Mail last season: “He’s good around the place. He’s been at every game, certainly the home games. He’s been in the dressing room before the game, talking to the players.

“We’ve got a relatively young squad so he’s valuable to me.”

Nevertheless, with more playing time unlikely to materialise any time soon, it would certainly make sense for Villa to allow him to drop down a division in his search for regular action.

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