Why Chelsea should sign Ryan Bertrand to bolster left-back department
The 31-year-old English left-back started his youth career at Gillingham FC in 1998 and moved to Chelsea’s academy in 2005. While he was still in the U-18’s, he was loaned out to Bournemouth in 2006. In 2007, he was officially promoted to the first-team.
A string of loan moves to Oldham, Norwich, Reading and Nottingham Forest followed between 2007 and 2010. After that, he started getting games for Chelsea, even though it was on a sporadic basis. He made a total of 57 appearances for the Blues, scoring and assisting twice (source – Transfermarkt). Another two loan spells followed to Aston Villa and Southampton in 2014.
In 2015, Southampton signed him permanently. Since then, he has been a mainstay of the Saints’ backline, making over 200 appearances, scoring 8 times and assisting 19. A regular for the England youth teams, he has also managed to play 19 games for the senior side, scoring once.
Is it a smart move to get Bertrand?
With Ben Chilwell’s arrival, it is clear that he is going to be the first choice left-back for a while now. Alonso and Palmieri are at an age where they won’t like being second-choice with less game time.
If the club does manage to sell either or both, they will need someone who is willing to play second fiddle. That is very difficult as no player would willingly settle for that.
However, Ryan Bertrand is past 30 now and is in the last year of his contract, unless there is a renewal this season. At that age, he can afford to sit out games and play sporadically. With his contract running out, Chelsea can look to get him on the cheap. He already has plenty of Premier League experience and the added experience of playing for Chelsea themselves.
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Given that Sam McQueen is out with a long-term injury and Jake Vokins being the only other natural left-back in the squad. He is too young to be starting games. Signing Bertrand would surely be a smart move on Chelsea’s part but it would also be interesting to see if Southampton sanction a sale.