Valverde put on another excellent display for Los Blancos this week (November 2), scoring in their 5-1 UEFA Champions League triumph over Celtic. The versatile midfielder has scored eight goals and provided five assists in his 18 appearances throughout the campaign.
According to Defensa Central, the Gunners are exploring the possibility of signing the 24-year-old Uruguayan and Cole is a huge admirer of Valverde. Following Madrid’s victory this week, the former England winger compared Valverde to another midfield wonderkid in Bellingham. Cole told BT Sport (as per Daily Mail):
“He’s standing right at the top of the tree with Bellingham in the young players, and he’s on the verge of becoming the best. He’s box-to-box, he scores goals, he’s a technician, he was the unsung hero in the final, I thought he was outstanding against Liverpool.”
Cole praised Valverde’s patience as he had to play second fiddle to the likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos:
“He drove that team forward (against Celtic), he’s a powerful boy, took his goal beautifully, and he’s one that I earmarked about two years ago. He’s found it tough getting into Casemiro, Kroos and Modric, they’ve been incredible. He’s had to wait, bide his time and learn from the greats, take a little bit from everyone’s game.”
“His stats this year are unbelievable, his goals, assists, goal involvements, incredible player. We talk a lot about Bellingham in this country, but this kid is every bit as good as Bellingham.”
Joe Cole believes Chelsea will move above Arsenal soon in the Premier League
The two London rivals take on each other on Sunday (November 6), with the Gunners currently 10 points ahead of Graham Potter’s side.
However, Cole believes that Chelsea will eventually show their class and finish ahead of Mikel Arteta’s men, as he explained to The Sun:
“We have to be very mindful of what’s happening at Arsenal because nothing has paid off as of yet. Arsenal have set high standards for themselves. I do like what they’re doing. I enjoy watching Arsenal play, which I haven’t said for a long time. I like Mikel Arteta and what he does, how he sets up the team and I like the young players.”
“Nothing significant has been achieved at Arsenal as of yet with their high standards, but they’re on the right path. Chelsea have battled at a different level over the last 20 years. We have to say that. Chelsea are the most successful team in the country over the last 20 years. I still feel Chelsea can more than compete and go above Arsenal very soon.”
The Gunners are currently at the top of the table while the Blues are seventh.