West Ham United attacking midfielder Joe Cole has backed Hammers striker Andy Carroll to emulate the success of Cole’s former Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba.

Carroll signed for the Upton Park club on a permanent basis for £15m earlier this summer on a six-year contract, after a successful one-year loan spell from Liverpool.

The 24-year-old scored seven goals in 24 appearances for Sam Allardyce’s team in that spell, which came after a difficult time at Anfield, with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers deeming him surplus to requirements.

But Cole thinks the former-Newcastle player is now playing with more confidence, and thinks a return to the England squad is a possibility.

He said to West Ham TV: “I've played with Andy at Liverpool and West Ham and the player who is playing for West Ham is full of confidence, strong, aggressive and you can see what a great player he is. 

"He had a difficult time at Liverpool, but the West Ham Andy Carroll is a real handful and a top player. He'll be looking at getting in the England squad and he can be anything he wants to be.

You can look at a Drogba, that's the level he can get to. He's a good lad and we're glad to have him here."

Carroll is due to miss the start of the upcoming season with a heel injury, but it is an important year for the forward, as he will be aiming to win a place in England’s 2014 World Cup squad, should they qualify.

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