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Carlton Cole joins Essien at Indonesia’s Persib

Bandung (Indonesia) (AFP) – Former West Ham United and Chelsea striker Carlton Cole has signed for Indonesia’s Persib Bandung, the club announced Thursday.

Cole joined Persib just two weeks after his former Chelsea teammate and ex-AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Michael Essien signed for the club — the highest-profile player to make the move to Indonesia for years.  

Cole signed a one-year contract for an undisclosed sum with Persib, owned by Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir who is also president of Italian giants Inter Milan. 

Persib finished fifth in last year’s Indonesian Soccer Championship.

“We will take the team to the next level. And I’ll try to give my best,” the Englishman said at a press conference. 

Cole, 33, who ended a brief stint with Sacramento Republic in the US last year, said Essien’s decision had helped pave the way for his move. 

Persib boss Teddy Tjahjono said: “One thing for sure by having Essien and Cole we want Persib to be the champion this year, that’s the main goal.

“But actually there’s another goal, a wider aim … they can give and teach their skills to our players.” 

Indonesian football has been hit by crises including a 2015 dispute between the domestic association and the government which led to FIFA banning the country from international competition. 

FIFA lifted the ban in May 2016. 

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