When a player spends almost ten years at a club and helps them win the Champions League, he usually becomes an idol or something closer to a legend. But that might not be the case with Ryan Bertrand. In his total time with Chelsea he was always in and out of the team and never had a consistent place in it.
Ryan Bertrand was signed by Chelsea in July 2005 from Gillingham for an initial £125,000; and since then was out on loan for five years to various clubs, before he made his Premier League debut for the Blues as a substitute against Birmingham City on April 20, 2011. However, was not able to seal a place in the squad.
In the 2012 Champions League final he became the first player to debut directly in the finals starting in an unusual left wing position. Under Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez, he was able to taste the consistency as he played 38 games in the subsequent season. But after the arrival of the Special One, he only had one game and in the second half of that season he went out on loan to Aston Villa, where he did not disappoint.
Southampton was his stop in the next season. They came looking for a young first choice Left-Back, after Luke Shaw’s departure to Manchester United, resulting in another loan spell for the Englishman. He was very impressive in the first half of the season, contributing a lot in the defense line, making Southampton’s the tightest defense in the Premier League. And so, halfway through the season his deal was made permanent for a reported £10 Million. He was also successful in making it to the Professional Footballers’ Association top-flight Team of the Year this season.
Bertrand making just one League appearance under the Portuguese in 2013 before departing to Aston Villa, stated,
“For me it wasn’t a case of ‘my career isn’t going right, I’m not playing for Chelsea’,” “I know personally I should still be there and I should still be playing [for them].
“I know that in myself. That’s my inner confidence. It’s nothing to do with my capabilities that I’m not there, it’s purely circumstance but it is no drama. That is football and these things happen. I’m not trying to prove people wrong and I’ve no grudges [with Mourinho], no chip on my shoulder. Football is football, business is business.”
“I am fantastically happy at Southampton now, playing week in, week out, developing as a footballer and really enjoying life. I don’t even look back and wish I’d made the move sooner. Everyone has their own path and this is mine, and I’m thankful for everything I learned in my years at Chelsea. I played with some fantastic players and under some world-class managers – 10 or 11 of them – and drew aspects from each and every one.”
“Each season at Chelsea I sensed progress, from playing 10 games to 16, 20 to 34 over a campaign. But the season when it didn’t pan out the way I’d hoped [2013-14] and I lost out on being with England, that made it clear I needed to find somewhere to play consistently.”
As a reward for the consistent and electrifying displays for Southampton the Left-Back will compete with Kieran Gibbs for a place in Roy Hodgson’s team in Sunday’s friendly against the Republic of Ireland and the Euro 2016 qualifier in Slovenia a week later. He seems happy and we are sure happy for all his contributions as a player for the Blues.
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Edited By: Harshal Ahire
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