ASHLEY COLE proved his loyalties still very much lie with Chelsea as he reveals he hopes they reach the Champions League over Arsenal.
The former England left-back, 39, famously switched North London for West London in 2006.
And it is clear his affection remains with the Blues – where he is regarded as a club legend.
Appearing as a pundit on Sky Sports on Saturday, Cole was discussing the race for the top four with Jamie Redknapp and Kelly Cates.
Cole said: “I think when it’s coming to the top four, I think it’s tough.
“I couldn’t put my money on who is going to finish in the top four, it’s probably out of the top seven
“If you’re saying Arsenal are there, then why can’t you say Sheffield United are there?
“For me I think it is too hard to pick, I just hope Chelsea make it.”
With a beaming smile, Cole was then asked: “And Arsenal?”
And he sheepishly added: “And Arsenal.”
Before Redknapp quickly quipped: “You don’t mean that,” as Cole laughed it off without reply.
And fans on Twitter did not hesitate to share their thoughts on the exchange.
One said: “Can we take a second to appreciate how Chelsea, Ashley Cole is. All blue. Even when Sky try and push him to Arsenal.”
Another wrote: “Ashley Cole completely ignoring Arsenal and saying he hope Chelsea makes the top four. For me, the best ever.”
A third added: “Ashley Cole is never scared to regard himself as a proper Chelsea player. Sometimes you forget that he once played at Arsenal with the he carries the blue honour.”
And a final user commented: “The way Cesc and Ashley Cole have become pro Chelsea over Arsenal is hilarious to me.”
Cole came through the youth ranks at Arsenal and made his first-team debut in 1999.
He went on to appear 228 times for the club over the next seven years, winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups, before making the switch to Stamford Bridge.
With Chelsea, the defender won the Premier League, four FA Cups, the League Cup, Champions League and Europa League in 338 games.
He finished his career with spells at Roma, LA Galaxy and, finally, Derby County before returning to Chelsea to coach the academy.
Chelsea took another big step towards finishing in the top four with a 3-0 win over Watford on Saturday night.
After seeing Leicester and Manchester United both win, Wolves slipped up with a 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal, making it a bad day for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
Leicester remain third and Chelsea fourth, just two points clear of United.
Wolves are three points further back on 52 with Arsenal another three behind the Molineux club.