Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed his surprise that Ashley Cole has lost his place in the Chelsea side under Jose Mourinho's second stint as manager.

Recently, the England left-back has been kept out of the starting XI by the right-footed Cesar Azpilicueta and Mourinho has confirmed that the Spaniard will remain in the team for Monday's crucial visit to the Gunners.

Cole's former team can go top with a win at The Emirates Stadium meanwhile the Blues can jump to third if they are victorious.

The 106-cap international moved to Stamford Bridge in 2006 - a controversial switch across the capital - when the Portuguese manager was in his first stint in charge as has become a vital part of a team that have tasted Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League success.

In that time, the 33-year-old has made over 300 appearances in west London.

Wenger admits he is surprised by fall in grace of the defender he nurtured and the 64-year-old questioned whether Cole will even make England's World Cup squad as first choice; "Yes, it is a surprise to me that Ashley has been left out by Chelsea," he said.

"I still see Ashley sometimes in the big games, he can produce great performances still.

"I don't know whether he is still England's best left-back - my name is not Roy Hodgson."

Arsenal haven't won a trophy since Cole departed the club in what has been a barren spell for Wenger.

Topics:
#Premier League
#Arsenal
#Chelsea
#Ashley Cole
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