Chelsea full-back Ryan Bertrand has dropped the biggest hint yet that his loan move to Southampton could become a permanent one in the future, according to Metro.
The London-based publication make the claim that comments made by Bertrand which reflect on the way he has settled in at St. Mary’s allude to the fact that he wants to stay, with there apparently being no room for him in Jose Mourinho’s starting IX.
The 25-year-old spent the last half of last season on loan at Aston Villa, having been frozen out of the Chelsea set up by Mourinho, despite initially being favoured as the long-term replacement to Ashley Cole. It would seem that The Special One has Cesar Azpilicueta and new-signing Filipe Luis higher in his estimations though, leaving Bertrand’s future at Stamford Bridge reasonably untenable.
“Since I left to go on loan to [Aston] Villa, it’s been about me again,’” Bertrand said.
“I’d never rule anything out, but it’s just been about getting out there and playing consistently without the thought process of what Chelsea think or whether I’m going back there.”
Not going back
The Metro claims that such comments are the biggest hint yet that Bertrand is keen to make a permanent exit from Chelsea, having enjoyed healthy form during his early days under Ronald Koeman at Southampton. The Saints are currently sitting second in the Premier League table on 13 points, just one position behind Bertrand’s parent club.
And, though it remains to be seen whether or not they can continue their early march towards a European places, the Blues outcast is clearly revelling in the fact that he’s getting an abundance of game-time.
Bertrand to leave?
If Bertrand does end up making the aforementioned switch then he will become the latest casualty of a Mourinho regime which has suffered little in the way of players the Portuguese coach doesn’t want.
A trophy-less campaign last term has left many speculating on whether or not Mourinho will still be in the Stamford Bridge this time next year if he’s unsuccessful once more, and it would seem the manager himself is desperate to ensure his reputation is not risked by harbouring what he deems to be dead weight.
That being said a sale would represent a failure on the development side of things, with Bertrand having been at the club since 2005, when he joined as a youth prospect from Gillingham.
Long heralded as the natural successor to Cole, Bertrand has waited patiently as he’s been continuously farmed out on loan over the years, though if he does move it would all seem rather pointless. Of course Azpilicueta and Luis currently stand in his way, making the idea of a triumphant return to west London very unlikely indeed.