Southampton star sensing England call-up for Chelsea loanee

Jose Fonte believes that Ryan Bertrand can break into Roy Hodgson’s England set-up.

25-year-old Bertrand completed a year-long loan to St Mary’s Stadium during the summer, and has gone on to appear in all six of the Saints games this season.

He put in a dominating performance on Saturday, as Ronald Koeman’s men defeated QPR 2-1, capping his game with the opening goal at the start of the second half.

The move to the South Coast allows the outcast Chelsea man to experience consistent first-team football, something that has alluded him during his eight-year stay in West London. Despite FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League winners medals, the twice-capped England international has made just 56 appearances for the Blues, appearing only three times since the return of Jose Mourinho.

His loan-deal with the Saints is the seventh of his career, and despite making few appearances for the Blues, he has racked up over 200 competitive appearances since making his debut in 2006.

His two appearances for the full England side came in 2012, and Southampton central defender Jose Fonte believes that a good spell on the South Coast could be key for Bertrand if he wants to fight his way back into the intentional set-up.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Fonte said: "I've been telling him a lot he needs to get forward, that he needs to start scoring goals to get in the England squad.

"He has the ability for that. He's a great player and he's been great for us so far.

"He came and he gelled very well. Also, we want to keep pushing him so he can be better and better.”

Despite his young age, Bertrand represents something of a veteran in the Saints ranks, with his impressive trophy haul unmatched by any other player. However, the full-back appears to be enjoying himself, with experience and maturity shining through in his performances.

"He's a player with a great pedigree,” the Portuguese defender added.

"I think he's enjoying it here: we gave him a lot of confidence, a lot of self-belief.

"He's matured now, he's a little bit older and everything's getting together for him.

"I just hope he can keep pushing on, and I hope he can get in the England squad."

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