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Chelsea Transfer News: Retaining Ashley Cole a Huge Move for Blues

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20:  Ashley Cole of Chelsea looks through the snow during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on January 20, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJanuary 22, 2013

With veteran Frank Lampard likely on his way out at Stamford Bridge, signing Ashley Cole to an extension was the best thing Chelsea could have done.

The Blues, who currently sit in third place in the Premier League, granted Cole a one-year contract worth about  £200,000 a week on Sunday, making him the highest-paid defender in the world, according to the Daily Mail.

You only have to look at the rage directed toward Cole from his former club, Arsenal, to know how well he's done in his new home. Since moving to Chelsea in 2006, Cole has won seven major trophies, establishing himself as one of the best left-backs in the world. The 32-year-old known for his pace, recovery time and ability to spark the attack has been a gem for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

With one of Chelsea's top goal-scorers, Lampard, likely on his way out, signing Cole to an extension was necessary to keep the Blues in the top four of the Premier League moving forward. As noted by the Daily Mail report, it would have cost the Blues around £15 million to find a replacement for Cole in the summer if he left, anyway.

This is what you must do to remain viable in the most competitive league in world football. Sometimes you must make sacrifices (i.e. cough up a boatload of money) to keep your core from dissolving into despair and plummeting down the standings.

As goalkeeper Petr Cech beamed to Chelsea's official website, via ESPN:

"Ashley's new deal is great news. He is still one of the best full-backs in the world and we want players like that to stay at the club as it shows we still have the ambition and motivation to challenge for everything, it's great to see."

These are uncertain, teetering times for Chelsea, but when owner Roman Abramovich locked Cole up for another season, he left himself some room to address the likely departure of Lampard and granted himself credibility moving forward.

There is still work to do at Stamford Bridge, but the move to keep Cole, no matter what the cost, was the right move.

 

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