Ashley Cole in line for new job as clubs chase ex-Arsenal and Chelsea star

Ashley Cole is being targeted by several Championship clubs
Ashley Cole is being targeted by several Championship clubs -Credit:Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Former Arsenal and Chelsea defender Ashley Cole is being eyed by several Championship clubs for his first managerial role.

The Chelsea and England legend, who was recently inducted into the Premier League's Hall of Fame, is eager to step up as a head coach. Although discreet enquiries have been made, Birmingham are keen to retain the ex-left-back at St Andrew's as part of their coaching staff following their drop to League One.

At 43, Cole was part of Lee Carsley's coaching team that led England to victory in the European Under-21 Championship last summer - the Three Lions' first triumph in nearly four decades. This success has paved the way for several talents to make their mark in Premier League first teams, including Nottingham Forest's Morgan Gibbs White, Newcastle's Anthony Gordon, and Chelsea's Cole Palmer.

Having earned 107 caps for England, Cole has gained experience working with the Chelsea academy across various age groups and is highly regarded by the Blues' players, staff, and even parents. He has also coached Everton and Chelsea's first teams alongside Frank Lampard.

Cole joined Birmingham in October to work with then-manager Wayne Rooney. However, after Rooney was dismissed in January following just 15 games and 83 days, many anticipated Cole would take over the reins but that day never came, reports the Mirror.

Despite Birmingham City opting for Tony Mowbray and later Gary Rowett for managerial roles, Cole's legacy remains untarnished with two Premier League titles at Arsenal and one with Chelsea, 385 top-flight appearances, and a staggering win rate of 62 per cent. His defensive prowess is highlighted by 147 clean sheets, alongside 15 goals and 31 assists, showcasing his impact at both ends of the pitch.

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Notably, Cole was a key figure in Arsenal's 'Invincibles' squad during the unbeaten 2003-4 season. Following his Hall Of Fame accolade last month, he received numerous tributes, including from ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who remarked: "He has character, he is a fighter.

"Today he's a coach. I didn't necessarily expect that from him, but the vibes I've had from people is that he's a very good coach, and that sums him up."