It's quite fitting that we have spent so much time basking in the glow of Lucas Digne over the past week or so because Roma's last (and hopefully final) stop gap solution at leftback, Ashley Cole, is now making headlines of a completely different sort. While Ca$hely's signing last summer was met with mostly positive reviews—I mean, even at an advanced age, he was still Ashley Cole—the marriage between the former England international and his new club soured quickly.
Things started off well enough, though, Cole appeared to be, at the very least, a solid addition to the squad. However, as his performance waned over the months—truncated by his horrible performance in the Champions League—Cole soon found himself firmly planted on the bench, watching as Jose Cholebas became the de facto starter, casting doubt on whatever future remained for him in Rome.
Heading into this summer, Roma was hell bent on nabbing a big man up front, upgrading their wing play and shedding some spare parts, all of which they accomplished by the end of August. Despite the attention paid to Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah, the capture of Lucas Digne may prove to be the most important signature Walter Sabatini secured this summer, one which, for Cole, spelled the end.
Despite being stripped of his number, left off the squad list for the first two matches and scrubbed from the website, Cole is refusing to cancel his contract; meaning he is effectively living the dream, getting paid obscene amounts of money to do nothing.
While I can't blame Cole (I'd do the exact same thing), he's effectively become the George Costanza to Roma's Play Now.
So, who will break first? Can Roma convince or coerce Cole to cancel his contract, or will Cole continue livin' large?