After five years away, Ashley Cole is back in English football at Derby County - and he's excited by his latest challenge.

It was in the summer of 2014 when his eight-year tenure at Chelsea came to an end.

During that period, he won a total of 10 trophies and earned his 100th England cap to place him amongst the all-time greats.

However, his time in the English game had come to an end as he decided to take a step into the unknown.

AS Roma called and the defender adapted to his new challenge in a different country.

His spell with the Italian giants, however, was cut short, as a new journey in Major League Soccer presented itself.

Three years with LA Galaxy followed.

Nine assists last season saw him top the charts in the MLS before his departure at the end of the campaign.

Cole has proven he is willing to tackle new obstacles and is embracing his new venture with Derby.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” he told RamsTV.

“I’ve not played in England for five years now, so coming from the MLS in America and a different culture, different way of way of playing and philosophies then coming here where it’s cold, it rains, difficult conditions and strong players in a good, tough league.

“I’m again coming out of my comfort zone when I could have stayed in the MLS and relaxed. I wanted to come here and fight for something, fight for a good cause and make promotion. I think that would be great for the club and for Frank Lampard and me as well.

“Derby play good football. They are definitely in the top three teams in terms of style and philosophy in how they play. The team play great football from the back, have good young players with a few older players in there too.

“I’ve played in big teams with that kind of style and philosophy of press, fight, give everything and Frank has brought that to Derby. I’m looking forward to getting my chance to play again.”

Cole has an excellent relationship with his new manager after playing together for both Chelsea and England.

The duo have Premier League and Champions League winners medals and it was maybe no surprise that when the manager came calling, Cole responded.

“I had a conversation with Frank a month, maybe two months ago,” he admitted.

"It was just general chit-chat about how well the team was playing and he asked would I be interested in coming here because there was a young player (Max Lowe) who wanted to go back on loan - so for me it was a no-brainer.

“I’ve kept in touch with him and followed Derby since he got the job. It was a no-brainer to come here and get involved in this great environment and hopefully push for promotion.”