Ryan Bertrand has made clear that he wants to play regular first-team football in the past. What he hasn't said before, at least not so firmly, is that he would be willing to leave Chelsea for the chance to do so. The 24-year-old left back has been at Aston Villa since he arrived on loan from the Blues in the January transfer window. Since getting here, Bertrand has been a steady fixture in the back line, only missing the Chelsea match due to the terms of the loan.
Villa fans have been largely impressed with Bertrand, and the general consensus is that if he could stay, it would be a boost for what is -- Stoke match aside -- Villa's strongest unit. The problem has been that he is under contract at Chelsea through 2017. While they have Ashley Cole and Cesar Azpilicueta in front of him on the depth chart, Jose Mourinho has made it clear that he sees Bertrand's future playing out at Stamford Bridge. And Cole will likely be gone after the season is over, so Bertrand has an opening.
But Azpilicueta has handled himself very well this season and Chelsea will have Patrick van Aanholt returning from Vitesse on loan. It seems reasonable to think that, despite his strong performance with Villa, Bertrand won't get the starting job at Chelsea. And if he doesn't, he's willing to quit, noting that he wouldn't rule out staying at Villa.
This should be seen as an opening for Paul Lambert and company. They should start talking to Chelsea about selling Bertrand to Aston Villa. His value is higher now than when he puts his foot down and says that he won't play, and Chelsea have the necessary manpower to cover left back next year. It's a deal that works well for all sides, as we've been saying for quite some time. Hopefully these comments are what get the ball rolling, and hopefully Bertrand becomes a permanent part of the Villa back four before too long.
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