Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand is set to leave the club this summer, as confirmed by Fabrizio Romano.
What’s the latest news on Ryan Bertrand?
With Bertrand’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, it has previously been revealed that he has held discussions with Southampton about extending his current deal.
However, he has now made a final decision on his future, and it was announced on Wednesday that he will leave St Mary’s next month.
What has Romano said about Bertrand?
On The Here We Go Podcast, Romano spoke about Bertrand’s imminent departure, before claiming that the 31-year-old will have no shortage of potential suitors in the coming months, both in his homeland and abroad.
“He’s not extending his contract so he will be available as a free agent. Many clubs are interested and are talking with his agents, from Italy, from France and from England, but something will move in the next days and he will be one of the players moving as a free agent,” Romano said.
What are Bertrand’s stats this season?
Bertrand has been Southampton’s first-choice left-back for most of the campaign, as he started 29 of their first 31 league matches. He has been left out of their last four squads, though, as his contract runs down.
As per WhoScored, only James Ward-Prowse has played more minutes for the team in the top-flight in 2020/21.
Bertrand also ranks highly amongst his teammates when it comes to completed tackles, having made 60 – this number puts him third behind Oriol Romeu (68) and Ward-Prowse (65).
Will he be missed by Southampton?
According to WhoScored, Bertrand has only been Southampton’s 16th best player this term, as he has received an average match rating of 6.41. This suggests that he may not be a significant loss for the Saints.
However, his absence in recent matches has highlighted just how limited Ralph Hasenhuttl is with his options at left-back. The position has been covered by Jack Stephen and Mohammed Salisu, but both these players are natural centre-backs. Prior to this season, neither man had played at left-back before.
This indicates that Bertrand leaving the South Coast could actually be a big blow for Hasenhuttl’s side. They are losing a player with a wealth of experience – Bertrand has featured in 258 Premier League games – and will be left without a recognised left-back in the squad.
Unless Hasenhuttl acts decisively in the transfer market, he may end up having to fit more square pegs into round holes to cover this position next season.