Aston Villa boss Remi Garde admits interest in signing Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole

The former Arsenal and Chelsea defender is an option to solve Villa's left-back crisis after being frozen out of the first-team picture at Roma.

Aston Villa are ready to offer Ashley Cole a chance to return to English football in January, manager Remi Garde has told the likes of the Telegraph.

Villa saw highly-rated left-back Jordan Amavi suffer a season-ending knee injury last month, and with backup Kieran Richardson flattering to deceive, Garde is now keen to sign a superior replacement when the transfer window opens next month.

As a result, the Premier League’s bottom-dwellers are looking to a possible short-term solution in Cole, who, having been frozen out of the first-team picture at Roma, is expected to either have his contract terminated or be allowed to leave the Stadio Olimpico on loan.

Asked about the 34-year-old defender ahead of hosting Arsenal on Sunday, Garde said: "Every good player is interesting for me and Ashley is a good player. He is someone who has experience but he didn’t play for a while now.

“Experience is also something we need. I will speak soon with the club and I’m already working on the January window. We know what we want to do.

“I feel we will need to improve the team to get more chances [to stay up]. For the moment, we have other games to play and to try to win, I am only focused completely on that.”

Premier League TeamSeasonGoalsAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyTotal Crosses MINSCrossing AccuracyTotal Tackles MINSTackle AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Jordan Amavi Aston Villa 2015-2016 0 2 7 79% 20.9 13% 23.22 83% 10 836
Ashley Cole Chelsea 2013-2014 0 2 17 90% 81.53 24% 35.54 69% 17 1,386

Cole originally joined Roma on a two-year deal in July 2014 after being released by Chelsea, but the ex-England international’s spell with the Serie A club has since turned into somewhat of a nightmare.

His displays during his first few months in Italy were largely panned by supporters and he has not made a competitive appearance for the club since March after falling behind Lucas Digne, Emerson and the versatile Vasilis Torosidis in the pecking order.

With his experience of almost 400 Premier League appearances, it is understandable that Villa would be interested in his signature amid their battle to avoid the drop, but his recent plight suggests that he will have a tough time filling Amavi's shoes.

Garde, who played at Arsenal while Cole was rising through the young ranks in the late 1990s, does have a number of other left-back options to consider ahead of making a potential move for the former Gunners star, but whether any could prove a serviceable starter for an extended period is certainly debatable.

Utility man Leandro Bacuna started at the position in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Southampton after the struggling Richardson was dropped to the bench, while Joe Bennett is due to return from his loan spell at Bournemouth next month.

Fellow loanee Aly Cissokho could also be recalled from his season-long stint at Porto in January if the Portuguese club agree to terminate his deal, while the new boss could even look to the promising Lewis Kinsella if he continues to impress for the Under-21s.

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