Joe Cole will return to Chelsea in 2019 as a technical academy coach, working with various age-grade teams in the club’s youth set-up.
Cole came through the ranks at West Ham and made his debut aged 17, before joining Roman Abramovich’s revolution at Chelsea five years later in 2003 in a deal reported to be worth £6.6million.
It was at Stamford Bridge where the versatile attacking midfielder enjoyed the best years of his career, spending seven seasons with the Blues and winning a host of honours.
Although the Champions League eluded him, he featured in the 2007-08 final when Chelsea lost to Manchester United, and Cole did win the Premier League on three occasions and also claimed FA Cup and EFL Cup winners’ medals.
Cole featured 56 times for England, including appearances at the World Cups of 2002, 2006 and 2010, and he recently brought his 20-year career to a close having spent the past three years at Tampa Bay Rowdies.
The 37-year-old will carry out his new role alongside studying for his coaching badges.
“Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game and I feel I can offer a lot as a coach,” he told the club’s website.
“To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.”
Head of youth development Neil Bath added: “We are delighted Joe has agreed to return to Chelsea and coach in the academy.
“It has always been our philosophy to have a number of ex-players involved in our coaching structure so they can pass on their unique experiences and what it means to play for Chelsea.
“Joe will work across a number of age groups and with various staff to ensure he gets to experience the full range of our programme.
“I’m sure sharing his experiences and football knowledge, combined with his obvious passion for the game, will help enormously with the development of our young players.”