Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand believes he should still be a Chelsea player and claims it to be purely circumstantial that he now plies his trade on the south coast at St Mary’s rather than at Stamford Bridge.
Bertrand joined Saints last season, initially on loan for the duration of the campaign, but an option was exercised in the January transfer window to make the deal a permanent one at a cost of around £10 million.
His performances under Ronald Koeman resulted in the 25-year-old earning a place in the PFA team of the year and finally leaving Chelsea seems to have revitalised a career that was flagging somewhat in London.
However, that would not be an assertion that Bertrand agrees with and, despite the limited opportunities afforded to him at Chelsea, maintains the belief that he should be part of Jose Mourinho’s squad.
There are, though, no hard feelings towards his former club and he is enjoying the rare feeling of being fully appreciated in his new home.
"For me it wasn't a case of 'my career didn't go right, I'm not playing for Chelsea'," Bertrand said.
"I know personally I should still be there and I should still be playing but it is no drama. That is football and these things happen.
"I am fantastically happy at Southampton, playing week in, week out and developing as a footballer and really enjoying life.
"I know in myself - that's my inner confidence, I have the capabilities.
"It's nothing to do with my capabilities that I'm not there, it's purely circumstance."
While Bertrand is a full-back of clear talent, as demonstrated by his place in the end of season XI, it is a bold claim from the England international that he should still be a Chelsea player.
He was allowed to leave the west London club given that he was third choice for the left-back position behind Cesar Azpilicueta and Filipe Luis, and it would hard to envisage he would have achieved anything better than becoming second in line for this role.
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