Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is optimistic that recent summer signing Joe Cole can still play at a high level.
The 32-year-old playmaker, who spent seven seasons with Chelsea before playing with three different clubs since 2010, had a very promising career when he made a switch to west London in 2003.
However, he failed to sustain a top-level form as his stint was marred by numerous injuries.
"As soon as you start to lose the fire from your stomach as a footballer, there's no point," Lambert told the Birmingham Mail.
"He still wants to do really well and he's still hungry to do really well."
"That's a sign of a top, top player."
"If you have still got the attributes at that age that you had when you were 16 or 17 starting out, you will not go far wrong."
Lambert believes that Cole's experience might play a vital part in his squad's run next season in the Premier League, while hoping that his gamble on the veteran will pay off.
"He can make things happen. If he can perform the way I know he can then we have got a really good player on our hands,"he added.
"He has won things at the highest level, played in masses of big games, massive England games and knows what it's like to win things."
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) July 7, 2014