Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand is reportedly close to agreeing a new three-year contract to extend his stay at St Mary’s.
According to a report from the Daily Express and the Sun’s Tom Barclay, Saints are confident of reaching an agreement with Bertrand who has been with the club since 2014.
Since coming in as a replacement for Luke Shaw, Bertrand has been a largely consistent performer and is said to have a positive influence behind the scenes – not absolutely obvious for fans looking in from the outside.
He has also become one of the most experienced players in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad and will have a key role in helping to nurture the young talent coming through Saints’ youth system.
Given that the club has had a fairly big turnover of players since his arrival too, he retains an understanding of what makes Saints unique and where the work needs to be done to return them to being a top half outfit in the Premier League.
Saints really hit some impressive form after the top-flight’s restart back in June and Bertrand was a big part of that.
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Both he and Kyle Walker-Peters were deployed as full-backs and were pushed forwards to add significant numbers and great width to attacks. The results saw Saints able to piece together some really nice performances and saw them win five of their final nine league games of the season.
Bertrand was a key factor and often had some of the most touches in the Saints team in matches. He also pushed forward to support Nathan Redmond when possible and utilised the switch of play to Walker-Peters when the chance came about.
For the next few years, the England international has the opportunity to keep paying regular football at St Mary’s and aid a rise up the table.
He has young academy graduate Jake Vokins pushing for a start behind him and can help his development as a player, but it is hard to look past Bertrand holding down the left-back role for a good part of the future under Ralph Hasenhuttl.