When Ryan Bertrand joined from Chelsea at the beginning of last season, we all had a feeling he would be a good addition. We didn't, however, realize how important he would be to the team, and more specifically the defense. Missing the beginning of the season, Bertrand was unable to help Saints out in their Europa League qualification. His absence shined a light on how important he really is to the team.
In 32 games, Bertrand scored once, and assisted twice. He even sent in the poor cross that was cleared out for THAT Cuco Martina shot. Southampton had a +19 goal differential with Bertrand on the pitch, a big contrast to Matt Targett's +2 goal differential.
Ryan Bertrand has a bright future, and I hope it is with the Saints. He hasn't been thrown on the rumor mill yet, but a strong Euro campaign could change that. He seems very happy to be here, and like other players, will be happy to see if Ronald Koeman will sign a new contract.
Bertrand has many strengths. His one-on-one defense is very good, his quickness to mark a winger is sound. Bertrand looks so natural and comfortable in the full-back position, and actually wasn't bad in the center-back position when needed in Saints' 3-5-2 formation.
Ryan Bertrand brings confidence to the team, and is one of those players who is almost more noticeable when he's not in the team, because the team takes a noticeable drop in the back.
Ryan Bertrand is a class defender who should also be England's #1 going into this summer's tournament.
*I would also never like to see him take a penalty in a 2-1 game again, but he did score, so...*
FINAL GRADE: 8.5/10
Summary: Ryan Bertrand was class this season, and last, and has proved his worth in the team. He is a great #1 left-back, and not a bad back-up at center-back. He is a great role model for Matt Targett, and I only see more improvement in the future for the Englishman.