"I was buzzing when I heard Joe Cole was joining," said Gardner to the Birmingham Mail.
"What a talent he is. It is amazing to have someone like that for players like me to look up to - someone who has played so many games for England, who has been at top Premier League clubs and has worked with the top players.
"To have someone like that come in is a dream come true for me.
"As a young player hopefully to have someone like that, it will help me and make me learn.
"He has had his injuries as well and he has proved that he has the strength and determination to come back."
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