Frank Lampard hopeful of bringing ex-Chelsea and Arsenal star Ashley Cole to Derby County
Derby County boss Frank Lampard believes Ashley Cole's experience and professionalism will benefit the club on several levels if he agrees to come to Pride Park.
The 38-year-old left back has spent the last three years playing for LA Galaxy in the MLS, and Lampard believes his former Chelsea and England team-mate is keen to continue his playing career.
And having spoken to Cole at length, he is hopeful of bringing him to Pride Park to be both part of the Rams squad and also offer support on the coaching side of things.
Speaking after the win over Reading on Saturday, Lampard said: "I've spoken to Ashley and I think he is someone who would come in as cover at left-back. That's not talking him down but if he can come in and compete and be an option in an area where we know we're fairly short defensively would be a big deal for us.
"Ashley's probably the best English left-back of his generation, if not best in the world, and to bring that into the dressing room would be a good thing for us, but it's not a done deal so I won't be getting too carried away as yet. If it gets done we'd want him here as soon as possible but we're not there yet.
"The first thing will be what he does here on match day, but training is what leads to that so as an example, and given how he is and how I know he is, that will be great as we have a lot of young players in this squad now having brought the average down and these players will look up to someone of his ilk like they do with guys like Richard Keogh,
"We all know what Ashley's done in the game so if he comes he will take on that responsibility as he wants to be a coach when he finishes playing, so if it comes off that can hopefully that can help everyone.
"The fact is that we have two left-backs with cruciate ligament injuries, Max Lowe is doing really well at Aberdeen on loan which is good for his long-term progress, and it's a position in the team where we need cover as long as we can do it in terms of finances."
It is rumoured that Cole will be offered around £10,000 a week by Derby, but Lampard says that money won't be a factor to Cole and that his professionalism and personal qualities are what the Rams boss is keen to bring to the club.
"With Ashley Cole you can give him £1 or £100,000 a week and you'll get the same professional turn up first to the training ground, give his everything, help people around him and then be last to leave.
"I understand people get obsessed with the wage thing but it's nothing to do with it. He'll be professional no matter what, if he comes. He's dedicated to his trade, he's polite, he adores his family and those around him, trains diligently and is great to all the fans who want to meet him, and I think those things have sometimes been glossed over in the past but are now coming to the fore as he nears the end of his career and people realise just what kind of guy he is when you scratch beneath the surface.
"The best and most driven players like Ashley and those such as John Terry want to push and get every last drop out of themselves in terms of what they can give and I love that, and it's what the top players do."