Ashley Cole may have been deemed surplus to requirements at AS Roma, but a move to LA Galaxy could prove the catalyst to helping Steven Gerrard win silverware in Major League Soccer.
The Sun are reporting that Cole is weighing up the offer of a move Stateside, where he would link up with the former Liverpool captain as well as ex-Premier League veteran Robbie Keane.
And it’s a move that the former Arsenal and Chelsea defender should definitely consider.
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At 35, Cole is now in the twilight years of his career and could struggle to adapt to the high tempo demands of the Premier League, if he opted for a return to England.
The left back last played for AS Roma back in March of this year, with injuries and a lack of form playing their part in keeping him out of Rudi Garcia’s team and it would take some time for the defender to reacclimatise to the requirements of football in the top-flight.
There were also periods in Rome when Cole looked seriously exposed against some of Europe’s best teams, with a notable 7-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League a particular low point.
In fairness, the Bavarians represent one of the best teams in Europe, with their famed pressing, high tempo style exposing many a great defender on their day, but the loss still represented a wake-up call to Cole’s limitations at this stage of his career.
But it could be a different story in the MLS and, in particular, at LA Galaxy.
While Gerrard’s first season in the US was far from a failure, with the Galaxy’s star-studded line-up - which also includes former Barcelona ace Giovanni Dos Santos - impressing going forwards, there were still problems defensively.
LA Galaxy scored the highest number of goals in the Western Conference last term, but only squeezed into the playoffs in fifth thanks to a shoddy defensive return that saw them ship 46 goals – the third-highest total of any team in the division.
Beaten 3-2 by Seattle Sounders in the first round of the playoffs that followed, the Galaxy lacked experience and leadership in the defensive third and that is certainly something Cole – a veteran of over 100 caps for England and appearances at three World Cups – could bring.
With just one regular defender in the Galaxy ranks over the age of 30, Cole’s experience of winning high-pressure games in the Champions League and Premier League could prove key to success at the latter end of the campaign.
More specifically, coach Bruce Arena has struggled to fill the left-back role for Galaxy, with midfielder Robbie Rogers among those called upon by the former Team USA manager - meaning there is a clear void Cole could fill.
And then there’s his pre-existing relationship with Gerrard, whom he played alongside on the international stage with England for over a decade with considerable success.
Put all of these elements together and Cole could be the man to help Gerrard and his Galaxy of superstars achieve great things.