Derby County defender Ashley Cole has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2018/19 campaign, as reported by BBC Sport.
The veteran left-back joined the Rams on Monday and was reunited with former teammate Frank Lampard, who took charge of the club in May 2018.
The 38-year-old agreed to join on a short-term deal after left-back Max Lowe returned to Aberdeen on loan, but has claimed that he plans to hang up his boots when the current campaign draws to a close.
Cole claimed that his body’s inability to cope with the demands of playing is the reason:
“Probably, after this season, it’s going to be Ashley Cole finished.
“I still love it, but the body can’t handle it.”
He also revealed that joining Derby was a ‘no-brainer’:
“For me it was a no-brainer to come here and try and be involved in something big for Derby County.
“It’s a difficult league to come out of, so to achieve promotion would be a great achievement.”
The former Chelsea stalwart also claimed that he can be a positive influence in the dressing room, especially for the club’s young prospects:
“I’m not the same Ashley Cole as when I was 26, everyone knows that, so there’s got to be a kind of expectation as well.
“I am 38, I’ve not played here for a long time, but it’s more for the bigger picture of what I can bring to a team with young kids and morale for a team.
“It’s not just about how I can play.”
Derby face Accrington Stanley in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday, a competition that Cole has won on seven occasions. His last outing in the FA Cup was in January 2014, when he featured as Chelsea narrowly defeated Stoke City at Stamford Bridge.