With the arrival of Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid he was always going to be linked with his former players. It is reported that he is particularly interested in the likes of Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole and would love to bring the pair from Stamford Bridge to the Santiago Bernabeu.
I doubt Lampard would leave for Spain now that he is with that Christine Bleakley off of the One Show and he is firmly settled at the club. But Cole is a different case all together and it isn’t out of the question that he could leave west London for pastures new.
Some quarters of the press suggest that Mourinho is desperate to get his hands on the left-back, so Chelsea could stand to make quite a profit over any potential transfer and there are many reasons why a deal could suit all parties concerned.
Firstly, the ever popular Cole is troubled and has had ongoing problems in his private life. Unfortunately for him his ex Cheryl Cole happens to be much loved by the nation and he could avoid a backlash over his divorce by getting away from it all in sunny Spain. Many may argue that this shouldn’t affect performances, but last season we saw John Terry have lapses in concentration because of the attention focused on him after revelations over his private life.
Secondly, Chelsea may want to use the left-back in a potential deal for long-term target Kaka, who has not had the best of times in Madrid, but Carlo Ancelotti got the best out of the player during their time together in Serie A with AC Milan and Roman Abramovich may see him as the sort of player who can help with the club that elusive Champions League (a competition that they’ve had some bad luck in). The club’s interest in Kaka has divided Chelsea’s fans as some argue that the player is a major risk and not worth going for if it would mean losing Cole, who they regard as being the best left fullback in world football and he certainly enjoyed a great season with the club winning an historic double. But others argue that passing up a player of Kaka’s quality off the back of one poor season would be incredibly foolish if he was available and would trust Ancelotti’s judgement if he wanted the player.
As good as the man nicknamed ‘Cashley’ is there are question marks over his loyalty. During his time at Chelsea’s rivals Arsenal he was caught up in a tapping up storm, he claimed that he almost crashed his car after being told Arsenal were only offering him £55,000-a-week and his controversial book upset many at his former club Arsenal and their fans. However, I believe he was undervalued at Arsenal and that isn’t the case at Chelsea, so I doubt he will leave west London with any bad feelings for them.
My final point is that Cole is not irreplaceable as the squad also possesses Yuri Zhirkov, who came to Stamford Bridge last summer for the sum of £18 million and after a slow start (due to injuries) he impressed during the absence of Cole during his injury layoff. In my opinion it is a waste of time to leave an £18 million player on the bench and it is doubtful he will usurp Florent Malouda (one of Chelsea’s top performers of their double winning season) of his position.
The only downside to any potential deal for the troubled defender is that Cole may not be able to play his natural game under Mourinho. At Chelsea he enjoys an attacking reign down their left flank, but the Special One prefers that his fullbacks do not cross the halfway line.
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