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Defender loaned to Aston Villa

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Mike Hewitt

Surprising transfer news from Jose Mourinho's press conference today -- Ryan Bertrand is set to go to Aston Villa on loan. The defender hasn't had much chance to play so far this season thanks to Cesar Azpilicueta's emergence as a Chelsea-calibre and Ashley Cole's continued existence, and that means that sending him somewhere he can get playing time is a very good idea for his continued development.

And so Aston Villa is an excellent landing spot. Paul Lambert's side are in trouble and they're frankly not very good; Bertrand is an upgrade for them and I'd expect him to claim a starting spot in fairly short order. Assuming he hasn't fallen off the pace too much thanks to having half a year of doing nothing, this should be a great opportunity for Bertrand to get exposure to life in the Premier League, and will give the club the opportunity to see what they have in the 24-year-old before any decision on Cole's future is made this summer.

The move has now been confirmed on Chelsea's official site.