Just in – Chelsea star could be set for new role under Mauricio Pochettino as next Ashley Cole emerges
Chelsea have been told the next Ashley Cole could already be at the club. Or at least a part of the club’s setup.
Cole was widely regarded was one of the best left-backs in world football during his time with Arsenal and Chelsea. An England regular, he had the perfect mix of defensive nous and attacking intent.
The former England man won the Premier League and the Champions League while with Chelsea, as well as four FA Cups and gave rise to a new era of full-backs. Now, Chelsea could have the next Cole on their books, and in an unlikely source.
Harvey Vale is spending the season on loan with Bristol Rovers in League One, with the Gas mid-table after 11 games of the campaign. Vale is an attacking midfielder by trade, but has been filling in at full-back for Joey Barton’s men in each of the last two games – a 3-0 win over Port Vale and a 2-1 defeat to Oxford United.
Chelsea have struggled to find a settled left-back of late, with Levi Colwill playing there ahead of Ben Chilwell under Mauricio Pochettino. Marc Cucurella has had his struggles there, but has found a new position at right-back in the absence of Reece James and Malo Gusto.
Vale could return to the club in the summer with a new lease of life, looking to tie down a regular spot in the first team. and he could do so in a different position too, dropping back to full-back instead.
Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol, Barton said: “The two games he’s played in there from the start I think he’s looked like a young Ashley Cole, he looks like he’s played there forever.
“He’s a footballer who is high on football IQ, he’s got a great passing range, he can run, decent in the air.”