Carlton Cole has become one of the Premier League's most dangerous forwards. Strong in possession and able to hold the ball up well, the 26-year-old began his career at Chelsea but just 31 appearances into his Stamford Bridge career, after struggling to make an impact, the forward joined Wolverhampton Wanderers and then Charlton Athletic on loan, as he looked to find his form. Having failed to establish himself at either club, Cole returned to Chelsea in 2004, only to find himself pushed out by the arrival of Didier Drogba. A year-long loan at Aston Villa then followed, and after another frustrating season at Chelsea, he joined West Ham in July 2006.
After a slow start to his Hammers' career, Cole has since blossomed under the guidance of recently sacked coach Gianfranco Zola. A former England U-21 international, scoring six goals in 19 appearances, the pacy West Ham United forward was handed his full international debut by Fabio Capello against Spain in February 2009. Cole, who can play as a lone striker and at 6’ 3" also offers an aerial threat, was named in England's squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra in June 2009. A team player, he has an impressive work rate and has been a consistent performer in the Premier League, despite West Ham's relegation struggles.