The Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand will join Aston Villa on loan for the rest of the season, Jose Mourinho announced today, as the Englishman continues with his long-term goal to try to break his club’s first team on a regular basis.
Mourinho said that decision was in the best interests of Bertrand, 24, who now embarks on his sixth loan spell since joining Chelsea from Gillingham's academy on 2005. He played in the 2012 Champions League final and has two England caps but has struggled even to make the bench this season with Ashley Cole losing his place at left-back to Cesar Azpilicueta.
Mourinho said: "We decided that Ryan Bertrand will go on loan. He's a good player, our player, and he needs to play. I have options at left-back with Ashley Cole and Azpilicueta. So we felt, and he agreed, that he needs to play. He's a good player. He's English and young, so he's going to Aston Villa until the end of the season."
Mourinho also said that new signing Nemanja Matic, who returned to the club from Benfica for £25m this week, would be in the squad to face Manchester United on Sunday but would not start the match. Mourinho said: "Matic is not starting the game. I feel that I owe that respect to my players. He's my player now, but I owe this to my other players. They are doing well and playing well. It wouldn't send the right message to them if a new player came and immediately played in the team. So I won't use Matic from the beginning."
Frank Lampard has trained this week and will be fit for the squad for the game at Stamford Bridge. Branislav Ivanovic only began training with the first team squad today and Mourinho expressed doubts that he would be ready in time for Sunday.
As for his opposite number, David Moyes, who will be 12 points adrift of third-placed Chelsea if United lose, Mourinho said that he believed the United manager would eventually succeed. "I said before, I don't think there's a reason to have sympathy. He has a fantastic job and is very, very stable. The club gave him an incredible trust when they chose him to be the next United manager after Sir Alex. They believe in the power of the manager, the support of the manager.
"There's no reason for David to be in trouble. He's very stable. He will have at least the time of his contract to build a team, to reach success, and to be there for many years. I don't think he needs sympathy. He has a fantastic job and no problems."