When news first surfaced in the English media a few weeks ago that Birmingham City manager Harry Redknapp wanted the services of Ashley Cole, the interest seemed innocent enough. At his peak Cole was one of the world’s best left backs, and even at 36 years of age the former Chelsea defender is highly revered.
However, this morning a more serious proposal came out of Belgium: Royal Antwerp has offered Jelle Van Damme a 2-year contract. Should Galaxy fans be worried about the future of the back four?
Yes and no. It shouldn’t be stressed enough that both reports including the Van Damme offer came during the last few tumultuous weeks before ultimately Curt Onalfo was let go. If LA can put the miserable start to the season behind them, that would obviously help keep both around.
Despite recently acknowledging the Birmingham interest, Cole has not expressed a real desire to leave LA. As the left back quickly points out in the below clip, he has six months left on his contract and wants to keep his options open.
Cole is happy in Los Angeles. He’s in a serious relationship and has a young son. None of which guarantee Ashley stays in LA, but assuming the Galaxy want to bring back the Englishman, he probably sticks around.
Jelle Van Damme’s situation is perhaps more complicated. A cunning former manager of Jelle’s has offered Van Damme a 2-year-deal that represents a lifeline of sorts: Return to Belgium, play at your normal left back spot and reunite with your family.
It is no secret that Van Damme misses his children, who have remained in Belgium. Additionally, the 33-year-old has lost a step this year, and with the center back earning his 3rd red card of the season last weekend, fans and pundits alike are starting to wonder if the two-time All-Star is worth the trouble.
While this news is somewhat reassuring, it also points to the very real possibility that Van Damme could be gone at the end of the season.
The next few weeks should be very interesting.