- Squad No: 34
- Position: Defender
- Age: 23
- Birth Date: Aug 5, 1989
- Birth Place: Southwark, England
- Height: 5′ 10” (1.78m)
- Weight: 85 kg
One of the finest players to emerge from the Chelsea academy in recent times, Ryan Bertrand has been tipped as the eventual successor to Ashley Cole.
Joining the club from Gillingham a month before his 16th birthday, he has been out on loan five times to further his development and, after impressing in the Championship at Nottingham Forest in the first half of the 2010-11 campaign, he was finally integrated into the Blues’ first-team squad.
He made his league debut for the club in April 2011 and was given sporadic opportunities in the 2011-12 campaign under Andre Villas-Boas. He was thrust into the spotlight by Villas-Boas’ successor Roberto Di Matteo, however, when he was selected to start at left midfield for the Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich in May 2012 despite having never featured in the competition before.
Strengths: Very quick and comfortable on the ball, he can support the attack with good crossing ability and is a capable defender.
Weaknesses: His positioning is questionable and he can be too quick to give away free-kicks.
Career high: Making his European debut in Chelsea’s Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich.
Career low: His early international career has been disappointing, with England Under-21s failing to emerge from their group at the 2011 European Championship and Great Britain going out at the quarter-final stage at the 2012 Olympics.
Style: A pacy and technically adept attacking left-back.
Quotes: “If you go out on loan, you have to think about yourself and your career and be realistic. There have been times when I’ve wondered about whether I’d make it but in life you have to have Plan A, B and C, so we looked at it realistically with my mum and my family and, thankfully, I have dug in there and managed to turn a few people’s heads” – Ryan Bertrand, May 2012
Trivia: He is known by the nickname “Plastic” in honour of the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand.