Ryan Bertrand joins Southampton: Saints exodus briefly halted as they secure Chelsea left-back Bertrand on season-long loan
Five players have already left Southampton this summer but Ronald Koeman has moved to bring in the Champions League rivals for the 2014-15 season
Southampton have finally given a reason for fans to be cheerful after securing the services of left-back Ryan Bertrand on a season-long loan-deal.
Bertrand joins Saints after a spell with Aston Villa, and despite interest coming from free-spending Liverpool, he has elected to seek regular first-team action for depleted Southampton under new manager Ronald Koeman.
Speaking after his move was announced, the Champions League winner said: “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.
“The manager’s name speaks for itself, so to play under somebody like that will be good for me. 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.
“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.”
The south coast club will represent the seventh club that Bertrand has been shipped out on loan to, having previously spent time with Bournemouth, Oldham Athletic, Norwich City, Reading and Nottingham Forest as well as Villa last term.
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Koeman was quick to express his delight at securing the services of the 24-year-old, who will be the short-term replacement for Luke Shaw after the 19-year-old England international completed a record move to Manchester United.
“I’m very happy to be able to bring Ryan in,” said Koeman.
“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.
“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.
“I’ve been very impressed with how Matt Targett is doing in pre-season, but he is still young and developing, which I am sure he will continue to do over the coming seasons.
“Left-back is an important position in the team because it is quite specialised in terms of the attributes needed to play there, so it is nice to get this signing completed because it gives us some stability.”
Bertrand played in the 2011-12 Champions League final Saints’ Chief Executive Officer Gareth Rogers added: “Ryan is a young, attacking full-back and will fit in perfectly with the club’s philosophy and style of play.
“This is another important step forward in terms of rebuilding our first-team squad with exciting English talent at its core.”
The confirmation is finally a piece of good news for fans of the club that were beginning to fear the worse, having seen no less than five key first-team members depart this summer. While Shaw headed to United, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren all joined Liverpool, while Arsenal swopped for 19-year-old right-back Calum Chambers.
The move for Bertrand could be a brief respite though, with reports that midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has handed in a transfer request in order to force through a move to Tottenham, and England forward Jay Rodriguez could follow him to White Hart Lane should the Southampton exodus continue.
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