Ashley Cole finally made his move to Major League Soccer by signing with the LA Galaxy on Wednesday afternoon, after months of rumours and reports.
The 35-year-old English left-back joins the Galaxy after seeing his contract with AS Roma terminated a year early last week.
The former Arsenal and Chelsea star will join former England teammate, Steven Gerrard, in Los Angeles, while also teaming up with former Premier League rivals Robbie Keane and Giovani Dos Santos.
Keane, Gerrard and Dos Santos currently occupy all three of LA Galaxy’s Designated Player slots, meaning Cole has not joined the club as a DP.
Many MLS fans will be glad to see Cole join the league, but there are also a large number of those who are questioning the decision to sign the three-time Premier League winner after referring to Major League Soccer as “a beach” when linked with a switch two years ago.
Galaxy head coach, Bruce Arena, is aware that there are those with doubts over whether Cole can be a success, but he thinks the signing will prove to be a risk that was worth taking.
“I think that he’s a good addition to our team, but only time will tell. Whether you think it’s a risk or a gamble, these are the risks and gambles that you take,” Arena said.Embed from Getty Images
“There is a real upside of having Ashley Cole with the LA Galaxy. I think that the opportunity that he’s going to have in LA is going to be a good one for him, and he’s going to be able to contribute greatly to our team.
“Ashley Cole has a great history. We know that doesn’t necessarily translate on the field when you come to MLS but my interactions over the last couple of months show me that he’s a player that has a strong desire to play here in Los Angeles.”
Cole is vastly experienced, having racked up 107 England caps over his career, playing in three World Cups and two European Championships with the Three Lions.
He becomes the Galaxy’s eighth signing of the offseason, joining Jelle Van Damme, Jeff Larentowicz, Mike Magee, Dan Kennedy, Emmanuel Boateng, Daniel Steres and Clement Diop.
Will Ashley Cole succeed in MLS with LA Galaxy? What are your thoughts on the move?