Ashley Cole was pictured in tears as he did the lap of honour following the final game of the 2013-2014 season at Stamford Bridge.
It didn’t take a genius to work out that Cole was probably on his way out of the club, despite Jose Mourinho claiming he was keen to keep the left-back, after not being offered an extension by Chelsea.
Cole, who has spent most of the season on the bench and who has just been left out of the England squad for the World Cup, clearly has grown very attached to the west London club, after starting his career at the team he had grown up supporting, Arsenal.
At the end of Cole’s first season in Arsenal’s first team,
“I have stuck it out because I have supported Arsenal all my life and I am determined to make a success of it there,” he said. “I want to prove to everyone I’m good enough to play for Arsenal.”
However, after six seasons in the first team, Cole had a change of heart, after Arsenal didn’t offer him enough money in their contract negotiations.
“My heart and soul was tied to Arsenal with a fisherman’s knot,” Cole reflected in his autobiography. “I don’t think even Houdini could have unravelled it. Not for one minute did I see myself leaving. There was only ever one club in England, let alone London, and that was the Arsenal.”
But his heart and soul somehow managed to untie themselves from Arsenal, with Cole going on to have secret meetings with Chelsea behind his boyhood club’s back. After claiming he was “trembling with anger” and almost driving his car off the road when he found out that Arsenal were only going to pay him £55,000 a week, he broke Premier League rules to organise a move to their London rivals. The Premier League fined him £100,000 for his behaviour.
Cole won one league title with Chelsea, four FA Cups, one League Cup, the European Cup and the Europa League. Throughout his time with the blues, Arsenal won nothing.
However, Cole has finished his final season at Chelsea empty-handed, whilst Arsenal won the FA Cup. The left-back will now be hoping that the likes of Monaco and PSG can offer him a contract he believes he deserves, so he doesn’t have to worry about crashing his car in a rage.