Chelsea have taken the decision to loan out 24-year-old England International left-back and recent foil for Ashley Cole, Ryan Bertrand. He had made just one Premier League appearance for the Blues this season.
With his chances extremely limited under Jose Mourinho and both Cole and Cesar Azpilicueta being preferred at left back, his loan move to Aston Villa doesn’t initially seem surprising.
However, Chelsea are now left with Branislav Ivanovic (also a back up centre back), Azpilicueta and Cole for the full back positions on both sides and suddenly look short of depth in these positions, which are areas that have been a weakness at Stamford Bridge with Cole ageing and Ivanovic often found to be sluggish.
Now Bertrand has left for Birmingham until the end of the season, are Chelsea going to be in the market for another defender? Perhaps signing another centre back would at least relieve Ivanovic of his potential duties as a cover, but speculation is high about a move for boyhood Chelsea fan, Luke Shaw.
As every Southampton player seems to be wanted by one club or another right now (speculation spurred on by the departure of influential Nicola Cortese), the rumours were likely to surface again, but Bertrand’s departure (albeit temporarily) did seem to make the space for Shaw’s signing, or at least another full back being introduced.
Other left backs have been touted, but Shaw is the signing craved by Chelsea fans for his energetic bursts up the left wing. He is potentially a Premier League player for another 15 years, and would allow Azpilicueta to stay at right back, his best position.
This January transfer window has been about as exciting as Sam Allardyce’s sides playing against a Tony Pulis side, but Chelsea could be about to spark the window again with another addition to their defence.
The implications of each move in this window provide staggering chances, an innocuous and uninteresting loan move of an unused player could spark the biggest signing of the window so far – otherwise Chelsea should fear severe weakness at full back, that would be yet another example of a loan move shooting themselves in the foot.
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