The left-back does not appear to play a role in Jose Mourinho’s plans and can expect large periods of this season looking on from the sidelines.
The first-ever player to make his European competition debut in the Champions League final, Ryan Bertrand has seemingly seen his fortunes change in the last couple of months.
The 24-year-old has been touted as a potential replacement for Ashley Cole at Chelsea once the veteran hangs up his boots, and his versatility saw him make 19 appearances for the Blues last season in the Premier League.
However, with manager Jose Mourinho at the helm once more at the west London club, it remains to be seen what role Bertrand will play for the club this season. Not included in Chelsea’s matchday squad in their first three Premier League games or for the European Super Cup, Bertrand’s role this term is yet to be determined.
Looking at the Chelsea squad, Bertrand is the only real specialist left-back cover for Ashley Cole and if the England veteran was to get injured then it looks like the 24-year-old would have a look in.
However, with someone like Branislav Ivanovic versatile enough to play left-back if needed and Mourinho admitting he wants to get his squad down to around 22 players, could Bertrand be sent out on loan this season to a Championship club?
The likes of Nathaniel Chalobah and Jose McEachran will be cut from the Chelsea first-team squad to go on loan at Championship sides this term, and Mourinho may consider giving Bertrand away temporarily also.
The left-back has made two senior England international appearances and needs regular first-team football to keep his career progressing. It is obvious that he won’t get that at Chelsea and to reach his potential of replacing Cole in a year or two he needs to be playing week-in, week-out now.
It is a tricky one for Mourinho as he does not want to be left short of cover should the unforeseen happen to Cole but will also want Bertrand to have the chance to play on a regular basis.
Under Roberto Di Matteo, Bertrand was at time used as a left winger, but in the current Chelsea set-up there is no room for this due to the attacking midfield talent at Mourinho’s disposal.
Bertrand still has the ability to progress into a player capable of being a mainstay for club and country, but a decision needs to be made soon over where he will play his football this season for his development to continue.
Should Chelsea allow Bertrand to go on loan? Or should he be kept as cover for Ashley Cole?
image: © Ben Sutherland