As Chelsea are rumoured to be entering the race to sign Benfica left-back Fabio Coentrao and Ashley Cole once again being linked with a move to Spain, could it be the end of the England fullback’s time at Stamford Bridge and does he fit with the new regime at Chelsea?
Andre Villas-Boas said in his recent press conference that he wanted his players to be ‘social role models’, players that don’t shoot students at the training ground with an air rifle and consistently get their names into the front pages of the newspapers for their off-field antics.
In his defence, many fans will argue that these off-the-pitch incidents do not matter when you’re the ‘world’s best left-back’. There’s no doubt that he is one of the most accomplished players in that position and he has enjoyed a successful career, but at 30, his powers could be on the wane.
Although he was a consistent performer in a Blues shirt last season, I’ve never seen anyone give him a torrid time like Antonio Valencia did at Old Trafford towards the end of the season, this is a man who had once been accustomed to keeping the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo quiet on a regular basis. Of course, that was but one game and everyone has a bad day at the office every now and then, so it would be harsh to point towards as evidence of wear and tear, but he’s not a player that is getting better or going to improve, and I’d argue that selling him whilst his stock is still high wouldn’t be a bad decision at all.
How much is Ashley Cole worth at 30, around £20m+? Perhaps a reunion with Jose Mourinho could be on the cards for the fullback, especially at Real Madrid’s move for Coentrao has allegedly hit a few stumbling blocks and Villas-Boas is reportedly a fan of the 23-year-old, whose release clause can be triggered with a £25m bid and be the perfect long-term option to replace Cole, whose sale could pay most of that fee.
Coentrao can also play at right-back and as a left winger, and his versatility is one of the reasons why our new boss may favour a move for his compatriot.
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