Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has backed Joe Cole to succeed with Lille after scoring his first goal for the French champions. Liverpool loaned out the England midfielder after he failed to settle at Anfield, having been brought in by Benitez's successor Roy Hodgson.

"He's a player with ability, he's a skilful player," said Benitez on Eurogoals.

"When you're used to playing in the Premier League, you're used to playing physically; you're used to playing against players who will tackle you hard. So if he's protected by the referees, I think that he can play well.

"Joe Cole likes to play as a second striker. So it depends on his position, because sometimes he plays as a left winger or right winger.

"And I think that (Eden) Hazard has the ability to find him. They can play together and it will be a good partnership."

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