Game over? Ashley Cole is losing the battle for his Chelsea and England future
Jose Mourinho has told Ashley Cole that there will be no guarantees over his Chelsea place as concerns for his World Cup place mount.
After spending much of the past decade unchallenged at left-back, Cole is now facing a three pronged assault from Leighton Baines, Kieran Gibbs and Luke Shaw. Given the form of all four players it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see Cole miss out and it also looks like his time at Chelsea could be drawing to a close.
He is part of a trio of experience players who will be out of contract in summer but whilst the other two (Frank Lampard and John Terry) look likely to be given extensions Cole’s future is far more uncertain. It has been over a month since he started a Premier League game and he has very much become second choice behind Cesar Azpilicueta.
The Spaniard is primarily a right-back but he has had to wait his turn behind Branislav Ivanovic. Yet rather be content as a back-up he has pushed Cole out of the team. Ivanovic’s performances this season have been inconsistent at best and next season he could find his place under threat from Azpilicueta.
For now it is Cole who is on the outside and he could find his position under even more scrutiny in summer should he stay.
Chelsea have long been linked with a move for Luke Shaw and he is known to be a Chelsea fan. He is a remarkably talented young player and he is definitely the future of England at left-back. He is seen by many as the natural successor to Cole for both Chelsea and England and if he moves in the summer to London he would quite possibly usurp Cole.
Mourinho has intimated that he thinks Cole will be offered a new deal but that the England man might take an offer elsewhere, possibly in America. Whether by his own choice or by the club’s doing it looks like Cole won’t be at Chelsea next season, on the face of it that might not be a bad idea.