In our Transfers that shook the club feature, Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at deals that had many may not have seen coming and the impact that they had during their time by using statistical data and pundit remarks.
Ashley Cole caused a storm when he traded life in the north of London for one in the west of the English capital back in 2006. Having won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners throughout a seven-year-long career at Highbury, the ex-England international was deemed a fan favourite among Arsenal supporters, making his move to one of the club’s biggest rivals – Chelsea – even harder to take for fans of the north Londoners.
Indeed, a player of such quality departing the club is undoubtedly a miss, though it was to be for Chelsea’s gain. Cole spent a total of eight years at Stamford Bridge, winning another Premier League title, the Europa League, the Champions League, four FA Cups and the League Cup with the Blues (via Transfermarkt).
He is deemed to be the best left-back in Premier League history by many, with a strong case to be built for him being one of the best to have ever played the game worldwide. Cole is certainly the best left-back to have ever graced the Stamford Bridge turf on a weekly basis in recent years – proven by his seemingly endless list of achievements at the club.
The 38-year-old only retired from playing in September, having spent a brief spell with Derby County in the Championship last term under the guidance of his former teammate, Frank Lampard. Indeed, he is now once again employed by Chelsea, though, helping coach the next generation of stars in the west London club’s academy system.
Given that there is so much excitement currently buzzing around the crop of youngsters to play in the Blues’ first-team, it seems fitting that a legend of the club is in charge of the next batch. Lampard may be the man in charge right now but it seems fitting that another legend is there to manage the conveyor belt. As Football.London recently put it, ‘there’s no doubt the former left-back could be the next in line to rise through the coaching ranks at Stamford Bridge’, with the ‘student’ Cole observing all things U-19.
A product of the Arsenal youth system of course – one that was previously managed by fellow invincible Freddie Ljungberg – the Blues’ decision to pursue the player back in 2006 now gives them a player the Independent described as the ‘best’ in his position for ‘nearly a decade’. Indeed, a controversial transfer at the time but one to have given them success in the past, as well as hopefully the future given his new role.
Ashley Cole is a Premier League legend and held in extremely high regard by fans of Chelsea Football Club. His move from Arsenal 13 years ago may have been controversial and earned him the nickname ‘Cashley Cole’ among resentful Arsenal fans, but, fast forward a decade and you could argue that it was the making of him considering all he achieved at the Bridge. He certainly left his mark on the club, that’s for sure.
Chelsea fans, is Cole the best left-back to have ever played in the top-flight? Comment below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!