Part of the famous Champions League final-winning starting lineup back in 2012, former Chelsea player Ryan Bertrand was confirmed as Leicester City’s latest signing on Thursday, ending his stay at Southampton after seven seasons.
While he might now be in the twilight of his career, a few weeks shy of his 32nd birthday, he will certainly strengthen an already capable side who finished fifth last season, just a point behind Chelsea.
Bertrand joined the Chelsea Academy at age 15, having gotten his start at Gillingham, and would go on to feature 57 times for the Blues at senior level — one of the very few players out of the youth ranks not named John Terry during those years to get more than a sniff of first-team action.
The pinnacle of his Chelsea career was certainly that glorious night in Munich, where he was a surprise starter as a defensive left wing on an injury-hit team — and the rest, as they say, is history — though he would also go on to make 38 appearances the following season, as Chelsea secured the Europa League trophy as well.
“We had no left winger, so Ryan Bertrand and Ashley Cole played left back and left wing. We were on fumes the whole night."— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) May 25, 2021
Inside Chelsea's 2012 Champions League celebrations and parallels to this year's finalhttps://t.co/YW3GgbEYdA pic.twitter.com/0FlXjQYUWy
But Bertrand was deemed surplus to requirements by José Mourinho in 2013, and after a season spent on loan at Aston Villa, would go on to join Southampton for 2014-15, making the move permanent halfway through the season. He came close to winning the League Cup with Saints in 2016-17, and would go on to make 240 appearances all told, before deciding that it was time for a change and declining to sign a contract extension.
While there were a few rumours about a potential reunion, a return to Chelsea would have certainly seen him relegated to a back-up role behind Ben Chilwell. At Leicester, he could become a regular, and should at the very least prove to be an experienced alternative to youngster Luke Thomas.
Chelsea take on Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on November 20. One can only hope we will have a full stadium to welcome him home. Until then, we can only wish Ryan Bertrand the best of luck in his new challenge. We’ll always have those wonderful memories of Munich. One of us!