Speculation continues to mount concerning the likelihood of Ashley Cole’s imminent departure from Stamford Bridge. The latest in a series of reports suggest that the fullback might be following in a fellow team mate’s footsteps. Galatasaray have reportedly short listed the England international, and will look to bring him to Turkey this summer. No doubt, if the money is right, Cole might well put in a call to his long time Chelsea team mate Didier Drogba, to ascertain whether Turkey a place he wants to be.
Cole, now 33, has been unable to regain his regular starting spot at left back this season, after Cesar Azpilicueta has proved a more than capable replacement. Despite his age, there’s little doubt that the Blues’ legend still has a few years of top class football left in his legs. The slightly slower pace of a lesser known domestic league, such as Turkey offers, might be a welcome change for Cole. However, with several high profile clubs also linked with a transfer swoop, he may well elect to continue to compete at the highest level of the game.
Cole arrived at Chelsea from Arsenal in 2006, after winning 146 caps for the gunners. He has gone on to become one of the most important players at Stamford Bridge, and will forever be remembered as an integral component of the Abramovich era success. In his time with the club, he has won 4 FA cups, 1 league cup, the Champions League, the Europa League, and the Premier League in 2009/10. He’s also a 2 time club player of the year, and has made over 100 appearances in in an England shirt.
With such an impressive record, there’s clearly nothing left for Cole to prove, but the love of competition dies hard in a lifelong athlete, and I suspect that the player will not agree with most pundit’s assessments, when they suggest that he is well past his prime.