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Rodgers to give Cole Liverpool opportunity

Cole arrived on a free transfer from Chelsea in 2010, but a series of poor performances for the Reds saw his first-team opportunities limited.

Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish allowed the England man to join French side Lille last term, where he rekindled his faltering career.

The 30-year-old has made no secret of his desire to return to Merseyside and is set to rejoin the Reds for pre-season.

And new manager Brendan Rodgers will take the opportunity to assess Cole and other fringe players ahead of the new campaign.

"I met up with Joe Cole when I was in Spain," Rodgers told Liverpool's official website.

"I certainly know he's looking to come back. I've got to assess all the players.

"With the likes of Joe - he's a very talented player. He's obviously gone out to Lille and done very well and he has the opportunity to come back here and show his qualities.

"For me it's fresh for everyone. I'll be new into the club. Of course I know lots of the players and their qualities but Joe is obviously a player who'll want to come back and show his worth to the group.

"There are a lot of players I'm aware of and they wouldn't be at Liverpool if they didn't have the qualities.

"I suppose going forward and over the course of pre-season I just need to decide the types of players who are going to fit into the function and the philosophy and the structure of the team.

"When a new manager comes into any club, it always sparks off that renewed motivation for players.

"The cycle with Kenny was a terrific cycle but I'm a different tactician and a different type of person and that will give all the players an opportunity to perform."