• Premier League

Cole: English players afraid to go abroad

ESPN staff
July 15, 2014
Ashley Cole says he has no issue with Jose Mourinho despite being dropped at Chelsea last season © Getty Images

Ashley Cole feels English players are afraid to move to foreign clubs and are in a comfort zone in the Premier League.

Cole, 33, signed for Serie A side Roma on a free transfer earlier this month after his contract at Chelsea came to an end.

"English players are probably afraid to come abroad, they're in a comfort zone in England," Cole told a news conference after his unveiling as a Roma player.

"It's a big opportunity for me to try a different language, culture and way of living. I'm happy with my choice."

The move came as a surprise to some given that few English players have opted to play elsewhere in Europe over the years.

Celtic keeper Fraser Forster is the only player from England's 2014 World Cup squad who doesn't play in the Premier League.

England manager Roy Hodgson admitted earlier this month that he hopes more English players move abroad.

He said: "It would be positive if they're not getting a chance to play in the Premier League with their club team, if they can find a good team abroad where they can play regularly, that would be positive."

Hodgson had left Cole out of his squad for Brazil, which prompted the left-back's international retirement, after his final season as a Chelsea player saw him lose his place in the team for the first time since arriving from Arsenal in 2006.

Cesar Azpilicueta became first choice in the position but Cole says he holds no grudges against Jose Mourinho.

"I've always had a good relationship with him. I understand that he was perhaps looking for something else and my time at Chelsea had come to an end," Cole said.

"As soon as I spoke to [Rudi] Garcia and I saw how much they wanted me here at Roma I jumped at the chance. Hopefully we can do something special next season and win the league.

"I've had some great managers in my time and I'm sure I'll work with another one here at Roma."

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