Chelsea FC left back Ryan Bertrand has joined Southampton on loan for the rest of the season, with an option to make the move permanent next summer.
Ryan Bertrand came up through the youth ranks at Chelsea and was promoted to the first team squad in 2006. But the 24-year-old has failed to establish himself and had to wait till 2011 for making his Premier League debut for the Blues.
Bertrand has had loans spells at various clubs and has made only 56 appearances for Chelsea so far. Last season he was sent out on loan to Aston Villa in the January transfer window, but following the departure of Ashley Cole in the summer there were hopes for the England international to find a place for himself in the squad this season.
Chelsea signed Felipe Luis this summer as a replacement for Cole and Bertrand once again dropped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. The left back has now joined Southampton for another loan spell, with an option to buy him at the end of the season.
Southampton were in need of a new left back following the departure of Luke Shaw to Manchester United. Initial reports suggested that youngster Matt Targett could be promoted to replace Shaw in the starting line-up, but new manager Ronald Koeman was keen to add a bit more experience.
“I’m very happy to be able to bring Ryan in.
“I spoke to him on Monday afternoon and I was very impressed with his attitude and how keen he was to play games for Southampton.
“He is a top player who will bring a lot of quality to the team. He has experience at the highest level and is an exciting, attacking player, which is what I like to see in my full-backs.
“I’ve been very impressed with how Matt Targett is doing in pre-season, but he is still young and developing, which I am sure he will continue to do over the coming seasons.
“Left-back is an important position in the team because it is quite specialised in terms of the attributes needed to play there, so it is nice to get this signing completed because it gives us some stability.” – Koeman said.
Bertrand became Southampton’s third signing of the summer, following the arrival of Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle. The Englishman is keen to play under someone like Koeman and has expressed his delight at having completed this move.
“For me personally, this is another chance to play and a chance to join a fantastic club that’s moving in the right direction.
“With the set-up the club’s got, the manager it has coming in and the ethos it has, I thought this was a perfect match.
“The manager’s name speaks for itself, so to play under somebody like that will be good for me. His ethos and the way he plays matches my game.
“I had a lot of options and a lot of interest but, having met the people and spoken to the manager and seen what the club is about, in my mind this was the perfect decision.
“I’m looking to get games and to play regularly in the way and the formation that I like, and I’m sure that will benefit my game. I still think the best is yet to come from me.” – Bertrand said.