The last standing member of Chelsea’s famed Old Guard, 38-year-old greatest left back of all time Ashley Cole, is coming back to England for one last hurrah.
Cole had been plying his trade in America, at MLS club LA
Zlatan Galaxy for the last three seasons, including as captain last year. He had made headlines not just by leaving England, (first for a brief and unsuccessful spell in Italy), but for going to MLS without being a “designated player” and getting paid untold millions. Instead, he went as a regular squad player, earning a regular squad player salary and earning his place on merit alone. But at the end of the 2018 season, as Galaxy missed the playoffs for the second straight season, Cole was released.
Today, a couple months later, Cole has found a new home. He has moved back to the motherland, joining former teammate and Chelsea legend Frank Lampard at Derby County.
Cole, who joins on a six-month contract until the end of the season, is expected to contribute on and off the pitch — he had recently talked about going into a non-playing role (coaching or scouting) eventually, too.
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure Ashley’s services for the rest of the season. He’s a fantastic player, a quality left-back, and he also brings great experience to the dressing room.”
“I know him very well from our time together at Chelsea, and with England, and I also know what he can bring to the group and the influence he will have.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Derby County FC
The 107-cap England international made his professional debut as an Arsenal player in November 1999, 10 months after the birth date of current teammate and Chelsea loanee, Mason Mount. He went on to collect 13 trophies as a professional player, including 3 Premier League (once for Chelsea) and 1 Champions League trophy across 659 club games. And counting.
Good luck, Ash!