LA Galaxy are being linked to English full back Ashley Cole as a replacement for now retired Todd Dunivant, but signing the left back would not be a wise move for the MLS side.
The Galaxy cleared up almost $2 million in cap space by trading Omar Gonzalez and Juninho, and not resigning Donovan Ricketts and Mika Väyrynen. They are offering Cole a non-Designated Player deal.
In his prime, Cole was arguably the best-left back in the world, but he is far from his prime. However, that isn’t the main reason why LA shouldn’t sign him.
The fact that he disrespected MLS and basically called it a retirement league not too long ago is a huge red flag that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.
In the summer of 2014, MLS teams made the move for Cole after his days at Chelsea came to an end. But he chose to join Italian outfit Roma because: “I’m not ready to relax on a beach yet.” Those were his exact words when he turned down MLS’ approach.
He would go on to say: “I’ve won a lot in my career already, but I don’t want to stop. I’m 33 and I’m getting older, but I still have a burning desire to win. That’s what I’m here (at Roma) for. I’ve always had this winning mentality. I can’t stand losing.”
It is very clear that didn’t rate MLS highly back then, so what has changed? His lack of playing time and deteriorating form is the answer to the preceding question.
In his first season in Rome, he only managed 11 league games. And since early March 2015, he has not featured in a league match. And he has not played in any competition this season.
Now that he knows that his days at the highest level are over, he feels like it is perfect time to settle down on a beach in Los Angeles.
Put his controversial comments to the side for now, and take a look at what the three time World Cup player has to offer.
Nothing, absolutely nothing.
He is old, tired and will most likely do nothing to help improve LA’s young talents and the club’s image around the world.
And why would the Galaxy go after a left-back with little to nothing left in the tank, when Robbie Rogers is growing into the position? According to whoscored.com, in 27 games, the 28 year old averaged 2.5 tackles, 2.6 clearances and 3.7 interceptions.
Those are respectable numbers and they will surely increase as he gets more experience in the position.
LA’s interest in Cole could be a publicity stunt, and if it were, it would be an ill-advised one. Cole is one of the most hated footballers in the world.
His move to Chelsea in 2006 left millions of Arsenal fans with a bitter taste in the mouths. But he would go on to upset more people in England by cheating on his ex-wife, singer Cheryl Cole, with multiple women and failing to shake hands with then-England Manager Fabio Capello after Chelsea lost the Community Shield to Manchester United in 2010.
A year later, Cole accidentally shot a work experience student with a air rifle from close range at Chelsea’s training ground.
Yes, people can change, but in the case of Cole’s reputation, the damage has been done. The highly-decorated veteran doesn’t bring anything unique to the table and he’ll only interfere with Rogers’ development.
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