Joe Cole has seen first hand the transformation Andy Carroll has undergone since first arriving at the Boleyn Ground a year ago.

Frustrated after a season-and-a-half at Liverpool, Carroll rediscovered his best form after returning to fitness with the Hammers and signed permanently for Sam Allardyce's men this summer.

Cole, a teammate of the big Geordie at Anfield as well as in east London, was thrilled to see him at his best towards the end of last season and believes there is more to come from the No9.


He told West Ham TV: "I've played with Andy at Liverpool and West Ham and the player who is playing for West Ham is full of confidence, strong, aggressive and you can see what a great player he is.

"He had a difficult time at Liverpool, but the West Ham Andy Carroll is a real handful and a top player. He'll be looking at getting in the England squad and he can be anything he wants to be.

"You can look at a [Didier] Drogba, that's the level he can get to. He's a good lad and we're glad to have him here."

Joe Cole and Andy Carroll in their Liverpool days
Joe Cole and Andy Carroll in their Liverpool days

Carroll is facing a race against time to be fit for the start of the new Barclays Premier League season, and Cole was involved as part of a front three alongside Ricardo Vaz Te and Modibo Maiga in Saturday's win against Eintracht Braunschweig.

Maiga notched twice at the Eintracht-Stadion and Cole is happy to see the rest of the striking unit coming into form too.

He added: "The gaffer had a look at Ricardo in the No9 position [on Saturday]. When Andy is the central striker you rely on his attributes, and without him we have to alter the style a little bit.

"Who knows, he might make the start of the season, but it was great to see Modibo Maiga score two goals on Saturday as it's always important for your strikers to score goals."

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