Birthday boy Cole offers loan advice
Andy Cole has offered advice to the Manchester United players out on loan as the legendary striker turns 50.
The ex-England international celebrates a landmark birthday and can reflect on scoring 121 goals in 275 matches following one of the biggest shock transfers in the club's history when he moved from Newcastle United, out of the blue, for £6 million plus Keith Gillespie in January 1995.
Earlier in his successful career, Cole had enjoyed one of the best loan spells of the 1990s, when proving his class at Bristol City, in a second temporary move from Arsenal after a stint at Fulham.
The centre-forward realised his potential at Ashton Gate, in 1992, posting a record of eight goals in 12 games during a stay that was made permanent when the Robins paid a club-record fee for him of £500,000.
"It was massive," he told us previously. "Personally, without this, I don't think I would have achieved what I did in my career. For me to come to Bristol City at that time was a massive part of my career. I am forever indebted to them, for spending that kind of money on a kid who had basically played half a game [for Arsenal]."
The move paid off with Bristol City selling him on to Newcastle in February of the following year for £1.75 million and the challenge for any youngster heading out on loan must be to try to make the sort of immediate impact he did.
"For me, personally, it was really good," he recalled to club media. "I thoroughly enjoyed my time out on loan. I was so desperate to prove I was good enough to play at a higher level.
“That is why my loan worked really well for me. Sometimes they don't but Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] is able to see which players will value a good loan move.
“Taking the opportunity is what loan moves are all about. I think you have to go out with the mentality of saying: 'Right, I'm good enough to play at this level and I want to test myself at this level'."