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Tuesday 06 August 2013

On this day in 2003: Chelsea make double signing

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall Veron and Cole moving to Stamford Bridge

  • Joe Cole and Didier Drogba celebrate winning the Barclays Premier League in 2005

  • Juan Sebastian Veron joined Chelsea after two seasons at Manchester United

  • The midfield duo were unveiled by Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day 6 August 2003: Veron and Cole move to Chelsea

Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri strengthened his midfield with the capture of Juan Sebastian Veron from Manchester United and Joe Cole from West Ham United.

Veron, then 28, had spent two seasons at Old Trafford following his high-profile move from Lazio, making 51 Barclays Premier League appearances and scoring seven goals. He moved to Chelsea for a fee of £15m.

"It's always difficult letting good players go," said Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at the time. "But we are very, very well off in the midfield and the overall package made it too interesting for us not to take it."

"I'm looking to learn from the players we have got here"
Joe Cole

Cole, 21, had come through the West Ham youth system and became an important member of the first team after making his debut in 1998. He signed for Chelsea for a fee of £6.6m following West Ham's relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

"I'm looking to learn from the players we have got here," he said. "First and foremost, the challenge is to get into the side when you come to a club like this, but I'm ready for that and I'll always give 100% every game.

"I used to come to Chelsea to watch, I used to sit in The Shed a lot. I used to love watching good players - I used to love watching Dennis Wise and before that Kerry Dixon. I just love my football."

The pair were brought to Stamford Bridge during a busy summer of transfer activity, which also included the arrivals of the likes of Glen Johnson, Geremi, Damien Duff, Hernan Crespo and Claude Makele, Wayne Bridge.

Veron was hampered by injury during his first season with the club, making seven League appearances, and after a season on loan at Inter Milan he signed a permanent deal with the Italian club in 2005.

Cole won three League titles and two FA Cups during his time at Chelsea, scoring 27 goals in 183 League appearances, before leaving for Liverpool in 2010. He is now back at West Ham United after signing an 18-month deal with the Hammers in January.

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Chelsea made two midfield signings in one day