Manchester City vs Roma: Ashley Cole returns to England - but how's he been getting on in Italy?

The former England defender left Chelsea for the Italian capital over the summer

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Ashley Cole returns to England for the first time since his summer move to Roma when his new team take on Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday.

For various reasons, some wildly unfair, neutral fans tended to struggle to warm to the left-back but his return sees the fifth most capped England player of all-time come home. Some would argue that over the last decade, he was also the most consistent player for the Three Lions.

Soon after his move to Rome, Cole became a viral internet sensation when a squad photo featuring the 33-year-old on the fringes emerged. Cole, for his part, took the jokes in good spirit.

But aside from that, has Cole been on the fringes when it comes to actually playing? What impact has he made?

Roma have played six games so far this season, five in Serie A and one in the Champions League and they've won the lot. The run puts them joint top of Serie A along with Juventus. In the Champions League, their win over CSKA Moscow was just what they needed if they are to escape a group also containing City and Bayern Munich.

The strong start has also seen them concede just two goals.

Ashley Cole with his new team-mates


Cole has played his part - starting and completing 90 minutes in four of Roma's league games. In those matches, Roma didn't ship a single goal.

In the Champions League match against CSKA, Greek defender Vasilis Torosidis was chosen ahead of Cole.

In terms of his individual performances, Cole has been unspectacular, although that's often a good thing for a defender. Italian newspapers have been rating him with average scores so far.

After Roma's victory over Verona at the weekend, Cole took to Twitter and pointed towards success built on team-work rather than individuals.



While appearing to be on the fringes at the start of his Roma career, it seems Cole is settling in.