Yesterday, Southampton announced the signing of Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand on a season-long loan, with an option to buy the left-back outright next summer. The 24-year-old arrives as a direct replacement for Luke Shaw, who joined Manchester United earlier this summer.
Bertrand, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Aston Villa, has been regularly shipped out of Stamford Bridge on similar temporary deals. He was strongly linked with Liverpool this summer, but has ended up at St. Mary's.
His arrival will provide some welcome relief for the club’s fans, who have been forced to endure a mass exodus within recent months. Following the departure of a number of high profile stars, including Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Shaw, Dejan Lovren and Calum Chambers, they have been left in low spirits.
Speaking of his move, Bertrand said, 'This is another chance to join a fantastic club that's moving in the right direction.
'With the club's set-up, the manager it has coming in, and the ethos it has, I thought this was a perfect match.
'The manager's name speaks for itself, so to play under somebody like that will be good for me.
'I had a lot of options and a lot of interest but in my mind this was the perfect decision.'
We witnessed a very mixed reaction to this deal, as the following Tweets show. Some fans were more optimistic about the defenders arrival at St. Mary’s, while others opted to make a more pessimistic stance:
Bertrand an unspectacular but astute signing for Southampton. They're after Nathan Redmond, too, which would also be very nifty.— Rory Smith (@RorySmithTimes) July 30, 2014
Pleased with Bertrand, EPL experience and good enough for Chelsea to not let go permanently just yet. But does this mean no Rojo? #saintsfc— Gary Edwards (@SaintsGary) July 30, 2014
@emptymindz let's. Luckily Bertrand's move to Southampton has taken him out of the picture.— Callum Hulme (@HCallumH) July 30, 2014
If Southampton get Bertrand and Redmond all is not lost, good piece of business— Mike Ross (@lezlie333) July 30, 2014
@SkyFootball Bertrand is a good player IMO. Has a little experience too from CL football, could be decent player for them.— Matt Hagon (@matty6345) July 30, 2014
@SkyFootball Southampton sold their best players and brought in Ryan Bertrand? Makes sense— Alana Rodrigues (@Lanzies08) July 30, 2014
Bertrand is a comprehensive step down from Luke Shaw. Not at all bothered he's not back at Villa, surprised #SaintsFC went for him.— Thomas Jones (@TJVillan) July 30, 2014
Southampton are saints for giving us Lovren, Lallana and Lambert and taking Bertrand.— The Roaring Kopites (@RoaringKopites) July 30, 2014
If I was a saints fan I would be greatly pissed. Sell Luke Shaw and getting Bertrand in place, its like dumping Beyonce for Susan Boyle!— ~ Matt ~ (@MattyJordan95) July 30, 2014
Gotta love Southampton right now ..thanks for Lovren,Lambert,Lallana and now they kept Bertrand away from us