Former Chelsea left back Ashley Cole has officially signed a two-year deal with AS Roma, after being released by Chelsea. Cole has won the FA Cup more times than anyone in the history of the game and is only one of two players to win a double (winning the country’s top flight and its primary cup competition in the same season).
His deal with Roma will reportedly net him £3.65million in wages.
Although Cole signed a one-year contract extension in 2013 with Chelsea, Cole didn’t get much playing time during the 2013-2014 season and was replaced by César Azpilicueta. After signing with Chelsea from Arsenal in 2006, Cole helped Chelsea win the Premier League in 2010 and the UEFA Champions League in 2012.
Cole has also won 107 caps for England but decided to retire from international soccer after being dropped from England’s 2014 World Cup squad.
The move to Roma should prove positive for Cole who was only granted 15 starts and 17 caps for Chelsea last season under Jose Mourinho, despite being widely considered one of the best defenders of his generation. Even at the age of 33, Cole should still have be utilized more at Chelsea last season and the loss of both Cole and Frank Lampard will like effect the Blues more than might be realized at this time.
Mourinho has been focusing on signing players who can score goals for Chelsea, especially after a disappointing third finish in the Premier League (where the Blues scored only 71 goals). Although Mourinho has signed Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, the focus should move to defense in order to keep their back line as strong as their new midfield and strikers.
Cole’s move to Rome should help improve the Giallorossi who finished Serie A in second place. Cole’s experience in the Champions League will prove beneficial to head coach Rudi Garcia in his second season as manager.