Ryan Bertrand is a curious case; after spending time at several clubs like Oldham, Norwich City, Bournemouth, and Reading, he started in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich. He was 22 back then and it appeared that his best years of football were finally ahead of him. Last season, he made a healthy 38 appearances for the club in all competitions. Ashley Cole is clearly coming to the end of his Chelsea career and the door seemed to open for Bertrand at the right time.
The return of Mourinho has been a disaster for him personally, as he has featured just three times this season. Even when Cole was dropped, Bertrand was nowhere to be seen. Now, it has been confirmed that he will spend the rest of the season at Aston Villa on a loan deal.
Mourinho has said that competition for places is the reason for this temporary exit, but his decision to let Bertrand leave looks baffling since Chelsea are not well covered in this position. According to the club’s official site, he said:
“We also decided that for Ryan Bertrand, the best thing for him is to go on loan for the rest of the season.
“He’ a good player, a young player and he needs to play. At this moment, my options at left-back are Ashley Cole and Cesar Azpilicueta, so for Ryan we felt, and he agrees totally, that he needs to play, so he’s going to Aston Villa until the end of the season.”
Cesar Azpilicueta has been cited as competition, but it is not his natural position. Bertrand’s exit leaves Chelsea with only three recognised fullbacks – Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, and Azpilicueta. Of course, Michael Essien and David Luiz can play in this position, but then it depletes the areas that they were originally expected to fill.
Bertrand may not appear in a Chelsea shirt again, as the club are reportedly interested in offering him along with cash for Southampton fullback Luke Shaw. Shaw is valued at £21 million and Chelsea are reportedly ready to offer £15 million cash along with Bertrand, who is rated at £6 million.
It would be sad if it was the case since Bertrand has patiently stuck with us for so long. Come back soon, Ryan.