Ryan Bertrand looked like he was destined for a long term role with the Blues once he finally broke into the Chelsea first team, but once Jose Mourinho arrived, things seemed to go south for the left back very quickly. Now the player is living and playing in the south, and had some unflattering things to say about Chelsea FC:
‘The situation became clear to me before I went on loan to Aston Villa. Right from when I was 17, I was getting those 15, 20, 25, 30-plus games a season until I hit a stumbling block.'
‘That’s when the alarm bells rang. Before that, I had a chance to move from the club – because I just want to keep my career moving – but I was advised I didn’t need to do that.'
‘It all unraveled in front of my eyes, and certain things didn’t make sense in terms of what certain people had said to me, all I ask for is honesty, and I didn’t get that.'
It's hard to know exactly what to make of this, as Bertrand is certainly a bit vague about what he was told that made him stay with the club in the first place. Frankly, it doesn't seem like all that much ever needed to be said. When he was developed enough to slot in as the backup to Ashley Cole, he did, and got plenty of chances to play. I'm sure it was both disappointing and eye-opening for Bertrand when he was passed by Cesar Azpilicueta on the depth chart (as it likely was for Ashley Cole), but given the way the Spaniard has played for most of the past two years, it's hardly something you could categorize as unfair treatment.
The reality of the situation is that Bertrand was given a shot under several different managers, and showed the same good but not great play under every single one of them. I'm sure everyone at Chelsea wishes things had worked out differently, but they didn't, and it's best for both parties if Bertrand moves on to somewhere that he's happy, while the club bring in a fullback that's more capable of pushing the current pair for minutes.
Best of luck for the remainder of the season, Ryan. Help keep the Saints in front of Arsenal, and try to focus on that instead of talking about Chelsea.