It wasn't too long ago that the thought of Ashley Cole losing formed seemed ludicrous. However, a year on from leaving Chelsea and his Serie A adventure with Roma is beginning to turn sour.
Even when Jose Mourinho allowed him to depart Stamford Bridge many raised eyebrows at the decision. Though he had lost his position in the team to Cesar Azpilicueta, surely his very presence would be pivotal in securing a first Premier League title since 2010?
As it turns out, it was not needed after all. Chelsea waltzed to the title and new signing Filipe Luis proved a more than suitable replacement. As for Cole, his gamble to move to Italy had backfired. Now, its almost over.
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During his days at Chelsea and Arsenal, Cole really was the best left-back in the world. A regular fixture in both sides, it was a glittering spell that also saw him win 107 caps for England at international level.
He was an integral part of the Invincibles side that remains the last Arsenal side to win the league - and whilst at Stamford Bridge he also managed to win the Champions League having started the final for the Gunners side that lost to Barcelona in 2006.
Though never one for universal popularity, the medals and honours he won during his time in the English game also made him one of the country's most successful players. When he left for Roma he was expected to continue to shine in Serie A, but that now does not seem the case.
Though Roma managed to secure a second-placed finish for the second season in succession, Cole's contribution was minimal with the Englishman making just 16 appearances for Rudi Garcia's side.
And his time in the Italian capital has now hit a new low with Garcia omitting him from his Champions League squad, just days after the club's website failed to list him amongst the first team squad.
However, it is understood that the veteran has no intentions to leave Roma despite this latest snub, with Cole refusing to even contemplate playing for a side not participating in Europe's top tournament.
On transfer deadline day rumours begun to surface that Newcastle United had made a late play to bring the 34-year-old back to England.
However a move failed to materialise and manager Steve McLaren will instead have to make do with what he already has.
Whether or not Cole can rescue his Roma career remains to be seen. Yet with time not on his side retirement may be in the offing next summer.
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