Wright: This Southampton ace is the most underrated player in the Premier League

Ryan Bertrand

Ryan Bertrand has impressed since signing for Southampton.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has praised Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand's debut season at the club.

Bertrand signed on loan back in the summer, before making his switch permanent on transfer deadline day.

The left-back was named by pundit Ian Wright on BBC Radio 5 Live 606 when asked to name the most underrated player in the Premier League.

He said: "He's come into replace Luke Shaw who left for millions and he's fitted in seamlessly.

"It didn't quite work out for him at Chelsea, but seems to be finding his feet down there and he's doing pretty well."

  TeamSeasonWon Tackles per gameInterceptions per gameAerial duels won per gameAccurate Crosses per gameShots Blocked per gamesEffective Clearances per gameTotalAppearances
Luke Shaw Southampton 2013-2014 1.74 1.06 1.74 0.83 0.11 3.49 8.97 35
Ryan Bertrand Southampton 2014-2015 1.04 1.91 1.52 1.04 0.17 1.39 7.17 23

Comparing Luke Shaw's performances for Southampton last season with Ryan Bertrand's in 2014/15 shows there is very little to choose between the two.

Shaw records better statistics in terms of tackles made, aerial duels won and clearances, while Bertrand excels in interceptions, accurate crosses, and blocking shots.

The closeness in quality between the two shows just what a bargain the Saints have in Bertrand, who they signed at a fraction of the £30 million received from Manchester United for Luke Shaw.

Wright is correct in that Bertrand is somewhat underrated, although his quality is plain to see for anybody who has watched him this season. Whether there is a big gap between the two players is very much open to debate.

What will be fascinating is whether both players will be part of Roy Hodgson's next England squad, as both players have a strong, if not equal case for inclusion.

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