Cole arrived at the club on a free transfer following his release from West Ham United earlier this summer, and Lambert is confident that the former Chelsea and Liverpool attacking midfielder can have a big impact if he avoids injuries.
"We just have to make sure we keep him fit. Joe has been there, done it and worn the T-shirt," the Villa boss told reporters. "The lad has won everything in the game. He's a top pro, top guy and is really intelligent."
"It's just a question of keeping him fit, and if we do that we have a really top player on our hands.
"I know exactly what he is capable of. It's a real bonus that he's back because I know what he can give us."
Cole is expected to be named in the Villa squad for Saturday's meeting with Newcastle United.