The pinnacle of Ryan Bertrand’s short career is most certainly May 22nd 2012 – making his Champions League debut during Chelsea’s final triumph over Bayern Munich in Germany.
Last season was always going to be a reality check – but at least Bertrand became a more prominent figure in the Chelsea squad.
Yet, in a career littered with loan moves since joining Chelsea for an initial £125,000 from Gillingham back in 2005, the 24-year-old once again finds himself in the short-term hands of another club.
Since Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge as manager, Bertrand has made just three appearances – nothing in comparison to the 40 he made last season.
Competing with Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta was always going to be difficult, however Bertrand would surely have thought he’d be getting more minutes on the pitch than just the single Premier League start.
The England international still harbours slim hopes of adding to his two caps this summer in Brazil – an incentive big enough to grab some valuable Premier League game-time when the opportunity arises.
When speaking of his motives behind the loan-move to Aston Villa, the Metro quoted the defender as saying that the progression under Mourinho at Chelsea had stopped, adding:
‘I have always looked for progression in my career,’ he said.
‘Since I was back at Chelsea after being on loan for so long I have gone from 15 games to 20 odd to 30 odd. I couldn’t see that progression again this season.
‘As soon as the alarm bells started to ring I knew I needed to fix it.
‘Personally we’ve never had any falling outs or anything but at the same time I’ve never had many reassurances so I thought it’s in my hands now, let me take it into my own hands and get out on loan and start to play my football again.
‘He’s in a job, he’s in a profession and you just have to be professional at all times.’
Does Jose Mourinho believe that Ryan Bertrand has a future at Chelsea beyond this season? It is not yet clear – however, the situations over Ashley Cole and Southampton’s Luke Shaw may have a big influence on the Portuguese’s decisions this summer.
image: © Ben Sutherland