English players afraid to leave home

Ashley Cole believes more English players should play in other European leagues.

New AS Roma fullback Ashley Cole snaps a selfie with his team's kit. Picture: Official AS Roma Facebook Page.

LONDON - Former Arsenal and Chelsea defender Ashley Cole says English players are afraid of leaving their comfort zone and playing overseas.

The former England international has joined Serie A side AS Roma on a two-year deal after eight trophy-laden years at Chelsea, having spent last season as second choice to Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta.

"English players are probably afraid to come abroad, they're in a comfort zone in England," the 33-year-old told reporters at his first news conference in Rome on Tuesday.

"This is a chance for me to try a different language, culture and way of living."

Cole, who retired from international duty after Roy Hodgson did not include him in England's main 23-man World Cup squad, said he had a good relationship with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho but it was clear the Portuguese did not see him as an integral part of the team anymore.

"As soon as I spoke to (Rudi) Garcia (Roma manager) and I saw how much they wanted me here at Roma I jumped at the chance," Cole said.

"I've always had a good relationship with Jose Mourinho but I was no longer useful to his project at Chelsea.

"I came here to play in the Champions League. Roma is an ambitious club, it's a challenge for me and I'm prepared to fight for my place."