Liverpool Transfer News: Is Move for Ashley Cole a Backward Step?

Jason Pettigrove@@jaypetti1971Contributor IMarch 8, 2014

Could Ashley Cole soon be wearing the red of Liverpool?
Could Ashley Cole soon be wearing the red of Liverpool?Julian Finney/Getty Images

Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers has been lauded since his appointment for the attacking style he has brought back to the red half of Merseyside.

Supporters of the club have also been quick to applaud a forward-thinking transfer policy, with young, quick and highly-skilled ball players at the very core of this Anfield revolution.

Rodgers' charges are sitting pretty in second place in the Premier League, their haul of 73 goals the best in the division.

There's a genuine feeling that the glory days of the past are just around the corner.

The manager himself isn't just looking at the present either.

Fostering a legacy, per Liverpool's official website (subscription only), h/t Sam Williams of is all part of the Rodgers masterplan:

When I eventually retire from football, I want to be able to look back and see that not only have I won trophies, but I've developed a football club that has brought through their own youth players and individuals and made them better.

That is very important in my work.

Other managers may be different and might just be about purely winning trophies, but for me success isn't just about picking up the trophy at the end of the season.

It's also about the football club, giving value to young players and seeing them develop.

Given that particular standpoint, it begs a question as to why the club have shown interest in securing Chelsea's Ashley Cole on a short-term basis.

According to Simon Osborn of Metro, Rodgers sees 33-year-old Cole as the replacement for the disappointing, and outgoing, Aly Cissokho.

England international Cole has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge and will become a free agent in the summer, and Rodgers does have previous experience of working with him, of course.

The Liverpool manager will have noted Cole's qualities at close quarters during his time as coach with the Blues between 2004-2008. However, Cole is patently not the same player now as he was then. 

Roy Hodgson would be the first to acknowledge Cole's contribution to the national team, but the fact he continues to select Leighton Baines as his first choice says much about Cole's slide from his lofty perch as the world's best left-back.

Stripped of a yard of pace, he cannot provide the constant attacking threat that Rodgers requires from both of his full-backs to ensure his expansive brand of football is maintained and, ultimately, successful.

In the modern game, the position is now one of the most demanding.

With the advent of technology tracking every form of scientific facet, and as the physical demands of the game increase, full-backs continue to face the sternest challenges.

Sean Ingle details in his Guardian column, via a Prozone statistical breakdown, just how much extra work those in the position get through over the course of 90 minutes.

Cole now finds himself at the business end of his career, and as his athletic prowess inevitably begins to wane, so injuries become an unavoidable hazard of his work.

Rodgers can ill-afford to spend time and money on another injury-prone defender, given the continued absence of Jose Enrique this season.

The Spaniard, out since October with a troublesome knee problem, is currently in America undergoing extensive therapy, according to Phil Kirkbride of the Liverpool Echo.

With Cissokho hardly endearing himself to the manager or the Anfield faithful with a string of under-par performances (per, it's crucial that Rodgers' gets his selection for the position spot on.

For such a forward thinker, the acquisition of Ashley Cole can only be a backward step for Brendan Rodgers.


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