The left-back position looked by far Newcastle United’s weakest position against Southampton and in Ashley Cole, we could have the perfect short-term solution.

The former Chelsea and England star has been allowed to leave AS Roma, after the final season of his two year contract was terminated by mutual consent.

The Italian club confirming to the Guardian that Ashley Cole was once again a free agent.

Last season the full-back fell out of favour and with Roma finishing second and qualifying for the Champions League, there was no way back for Cole.

With 107 England Caps and numerous medals, there is no doubt of his pedigree.

Obviously most Newcastle supporters will point to the fact he is 34 and say that there is zero chance of Ashley Cole arriving at St James Park.

However, this is where we have to hope that Steve McClaren’s judgement has to be backed and with no replacement brought in after Davide Santon’s departure, it has left United with a serious problem.

Clearly neither Dummett or Haidara are top half Premier League full-backs, so if the money isn’t there this transfer window to bring in the quality we need at left-back, then a short-term deal until next summer could be perfect for both Ashley Cole and United.

Would love to see more signs that McClaren has got the backing to do things differently at Newcastle, unlike what’s happened previously under Mike Ashley.

The transfer fees for Wijnaldum and Mitrovic are proof that reality has hit home up to a point for Ashley but doing what needs to be done in other areas as well, would further convince me that things may well be changing overall.

If it isn’t Ashley Cole then we desperately need another option to sort out this problem position.

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