Former West Ham winger Joe Cole has made a bold claim about his former club.
The Hammers have returned to Europe this season having achieved an impressive sixth-place finish last time around.
And there is uncertainty over how they will perform in the Europa League, a competition that is notoriously tough to win.
But according to former winger Joe Cole, the Hammers can take hope from the fact Villarreal upset the odds to win it last season.
He told The Athletic: “Villarreal won the Europa League last season but Villarreal are not better than West Ham.
“Michail Antonio walks into their team, so does Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, Pablo Fornals, Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma.
“If Villarreal can win the Europa League, then so too can West Ham.”
That’s a very bold claim from Cole given Villarreal’s talent.
The Yellow Submarine may have finished seventh in La Liga last season, but they did pour a lot of resources into their Europa League campaign.
And one would have question how regularly Cole actually watches Villarreal compared to former club West Ham.
But Villarreal’s Europa League glory, winning the competition against the odds given the club’s size and budget should indeed give West Ham confidence that they can upset the odds this season.
Cup competitions are always there for the taking for teams who want them enough, and with the quality the Hammers have in key areas, there is no reason why they can’t enjoy a fine run in the competition this season.