BREAKING: Derby County confirm signing of former Arsenal, Chelsea and England star Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole has signed for Derby County until the end of the 2018/19 season.
The 38-year-old former Arsenal, Chelsea and Roma star has spent the last three years in the MLS with Los Angeles Galaxy and signs as a free agent to give the Rams cover in the left-back position.
And Rams boss Frank Lampard, a former team-mate of Cole's with Chelsea and England, was delighted to have him on board.
He said: "I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure Ashley’s services for the rest of the season.
“He’s a fantastic player, a quality left-back, and he also brings great experience to the dressing room.
“I know him very well from our time together at Chelsea, and with England, and I also know what he can bring to the group and the influence he will have.
“Ashley is in good shape, which doesn’t surprise me because he’s an excellent professional, and he will compete for a place in the side like every other player here.
"I’ve made my feelings known over the last couple of days just how highly I think of Ashley and I have no doubt whatsoever he will be a positive addition to our squad.”
For Cole, it was an easy decision to make the move.
He said: "I had a conversation with Frank a couple of months ago and it was a general chat about how things were going, but he asked if I might be interested in coming here as Max Lowe wanted to go back on loan to Aberdeen.
"For me it was a no brainer. I've stayed in touch with Lamps and followed Derby's progress and how well they've been playing and it was a chance to come and be part of this great environment and help the team get promotion.
"It's going to be a challenge. I've not played in England for five years now and coming from the MLS and a different culture and environment will need some adjustment given factors like the weather and that there are strong players in a tough league.
"I could have stayed in the MLS and relaxed but I wanted to come here and fight for a good cause. Promotion would be great for the club.
"It'll probably be the last time I'll be able to call the manager 'Frank' but he's my boss now and with me also knowing Jody Morris, Chris Jones and Shay Given it'll be good to have friends here but I have to respect them too, get my head down and work hard and train hard. I've also worked with Scott Carson, David Nugent, Tom Huddlestone as part of the England setup."
Cole says he's admired Derby in the games he's seen this season.
He added: "They play good football and are definitely in the top three teams in terms of style and philosophy and have a good mix of young and older players. Frank has brought fighting qualities to Derby and I look forward to being part of that.
"It's great to be back in England. There aren't many teams I'd have come back to but having spoken to Lamps it's him I've come back for and I look forward to the challenge."
At the weekend, and prior to a deal being done with Cole, Lampard had spoken of what kind of influence the experienced defender would bring to Pride Park.