Why Ashley Cole's possible return to English football at Derby County makes perfect sense
Reports in recent days from various sources such as The Guardian and Talk Sport have strongly linked former Premier League 'invincible' Ashley Cole with an English football comeback at Championship club Derby County.
Derby have had a tough time with injuries recently, with club captain Curtis Davies and influential full-back Craig Forsyth both facing a minimum of six months on the sidelines as they undergo their recovery. Furthermore, with the Rams struggling to keep the ball out of their net so far (they have zero clean sheets away from home this season), the experience that Cole is sure to bring could prove to be a vital part of Derby's promotion push.
The 37-year-old left-back has been without a club since parting ways with MLS outfit LA Galaxy earlier this week. As expected with a player of his quality, speculation began to rise about his next club, and he was immediately linked with a free-transfer to Derby County and Aston Villa - two teams led by ex-colleagues Frank Lampard and John Terry respectively.
When questioned on the recent speculation, Lampard admitted to the Derby Telegraph, "I know Ashley well. I haven't spoken to him on it, so it's a conversation I could easily have."
This would certainly indicate that Cole is an option Lampard is taking very seriously. The talks are possibly not far away as Derby begin to prepare for the hectic Christmas period.
The experience Cole would bring - not only to the back line when called upon, but also in the dressing room and around the training ground - could prove invaluable for Lampard and his team. Moreover, his rich and varied expertise learned from previous world class managers such as Arsene Wenger could certainly influence Derby and help to implement the 'Plan B' that they have possibly lacked throughout the season so far.
In addition, Cole's and Lampard's strong bond off the football pitch could prove valuable for the latter, as it could provide him with another voice within the dressing room and playing staff. That would help further reinforce his philosophy among the young and rejuvenated Derby squad.