Texas Tour 2014: Cole backed for cult hero status like Merson
Joe Cole can be a cult hero at Villa, much like Paul Merson.
That's the view of Lee Hendrie, who is a big admirer of his former England U21 pal.
Hendrie, who senses a real desire and determination in the playmaking midfielder after chatting to him on the tour of Texas, thinks he can be a darling with the claret and blue faithful.
He said: "I reckon Joe could go out there and become a cult hero with the fans. I believe that 100%.
"I see similarities between Joe and Merse.
"Merse came to Villa after a long and established career and really flourished. He was superb for us - and I think Joe could be that now for the team.
"I believe the fans will really welcome him, warm to him and love him playing for them.
"He will thrive off that support. He will love that.
"Give it two games at Villa Park and if he makes a big impact, they will be singing his name. That will help bring out the best of him.
"And Joe has got everything. He's the total package. He has the skill, the personality and the experience. I think he can bring such a lot to the team.
"Joe is such a good player when he's in there centrally pulling the strings, with that licence to go forward and thrill.
"I think he will be a massive, massive signing for us.
"He's so comfortable with the ball at his feet. He's got all the flick and tricks but he can play those penetrating passes. He's a skilful player no question. He's still got so much talent.
"I chatted to him on the way here and he's genuinely excited about being at Villa. It's a fresh start for him.
"The pressure is off him a little bit. When you're a young lad coming through, that pressure can overburden and mount on you at times.
"But his transfer has come in under the radar a bit and there's not that big hype that he's going to come in and move mountains.
"He can relax and just play his football. For those sort of reasons, I reckon he could go out there and cause a lot of problems for defences. I think he can be a massive hit."
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