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Bertrand leaves Chelsea for Southampton

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By Joe Haining

Thursday 31 July 2014

Full back Ryan Bertrand has joined Southampton on loan from Chelsea despite interest from Liverpool, talkSPORT has confirmed.

Ryan Bertrand

The move has been confirmed as being a loan for the entire season, and will see Bertrand filling the vacant spot on the left side of the Saints defence created by Luke Shaw’s big money transfer to Manchester United.

Bertrand expressed his happiness on securing the move, saying: “For me personally, this is another chance to play and a chance to join a fantastic club that’s moving in the right direction. With the set-up the club’s got, the manager it has coming in and the ethos it has, I thought this was a perfect match.”

Southampton’s new manager, the Dutch legend Ronald Koeman was also thrilled to have captured the young England man. “I’m very happy to be able to bring Ryan in. I spoke to him on Monday afternoon and I was very impressed with his attitude and how keen he was to play games for Southampton,” said Koeman. “He is a top player who will bring a lot of quality to the team. He has experience at the highest level and is an exciting, attacking player, which is what I like to see in my full-backs.”

And Bertrand confirmed that the stature of his new manager was one of the decisive factors in his decision to make the St. Mary’s switch. “The manager’s name speaks for itself, so to play under somebody like that will be good for me,” said Bertrand. “His ethos and the way he plays matches my game.

“I had a lot of options and a lot of interest but, having met the people and spoken to the manager and seen what the club is about, in my mind this was the perfect decision.”

One of those other interested parties was rumoured to be Liverpool, who have been in the market for a new full back all summer. But Bertrand is targeting game time as he seeks to develop his career, and sees Southampton as the best place to achieve that.

“I’m looking to get games and to play regularly in the way and the formation that I like, and I’m sure that will benefit my game. I still think the best is yet to come from me,” said the 24-year-old.

Bertrand has been with Chelsea since the age of 15 after coming through the youth system at Gillingham. However, he has struggled to break into the Chelsea team with the likes of England regular Ashley Cole ahead of him in the pecking order. He has made just 57 appearances in all competitions for the Blues in his eight years with the club.

The Southampton move is the latest loan spell in his career after temporary stints at AFC Bournemouth, Oldham Athletic, Norwich City, Reading, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa.

He has represented England at every level from under-17s upwards, and has two senior caps. He is also an Olympian having represented Stuart Pearce’s Great Britain team at the 2012 Olympic Games.

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