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Should Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand consider a return to Chelsea this summer?

Jake Jackman

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Ryan Bertrand

Ryan Bertrand is still facing an uncertain future at Southampton, despite Manchester City ending their interest in the left-back, according to the Daily Mail. Pep Guardiola believes that the versatile Danilo will be able to offer cover for both full-back positions, which means that a move for the England international is no longer a priority.

However, he has entered on to Chelsea’s radar as they attempt to bring in additional wing-back options ahead of their return to the Champions League, with the Standard reporting that Bertrand and club team-mate Cedric Soares are two players the Blues are looking at.

Antonio Conte had wanted to sign Danilo himself, but he was beaten to the Brazilian by Guardiola and the Italian is now left searching for alternatives. Bertrand has established himself as a reliable Premier League full-back since his move to Southampton and his homegrown status makes him an appealing target for the Blues. He has improved immeasurably since leaving the club and he would be a good squad option to have around the squad.

The 27-year-old will believe in his ability to play at a higher level and his previous experience at Stamford Bridge should make it an easy transition if he was to return. Chelsea have shown in previous seasons that they are not afraid to bring ex-players back to the club and a move for Bertrand would improve the squad. He would offer a more athletic option at left wing-back, as he would look to overlap more often than Marcos Alonso does. Although the Spaniard offers an attacking threat, he isn’t the most dynamic when running with the ball.

Last season, Bertrand contributed two goals and four assists in the Premier League, which marks him as one of the best attacking full-backs in the division. He is excellent at getting up and down the flank to offer support in the final third. Chelsea opted for a more defensive-minded player during Conte’s first season, as it gave Eden Hazard freedom. However, the Belgian will miss the start of the season and a more attacking option could provide more balance to the team.

Should Bertrand move back to Chelsea?

It is easy to list the reasons why the left-back would be interested in a move back to Stamford Bridge. He will have a point to prove after being moved on by the club and he will now believe that he is good enough to play a more prominent role in the first team. The added exposure of playing in a top-six side and featuring in the Champions League adds further incentive for him to make the switch.

However, there is a risk that he would play only a supporting role to Marcos Alonso and that could be hugely damaging in a World Cup year. At things stand, the 27-year-old has a great chance of securing a place in the England squad next summer, but a bad decision made before the end of the current transfer window could jeopardise that.

It is yet to be seen how serious the interest is from Chelsea and whether they will choose to make a move this summer. They need to make reinforcements, but they could have more high-profile targets in mind than their former youth product. If they do make a move, it will be a difficult decision for Bertrand as there are good reasons both to accept and reject the transfer.

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Chelsea

Newcastle United can do better than Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham this summer

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Photo: Getty Images.

Rafa Benitez will have been disappointed to have seen his January signing of Islam Slimani end in complete and utter failure with the Leicester City loanee spending more time in the stands than on the pitch and now he is focused on bringing in an improvement to St. James’ Park for 2018/19, but Tammy Abraham is not the answer.

TEAMTalk say that the Spaniard may return to the striker, who was strongly linked with a move to the north-east last summer, according to the Daily Mirror.

On that occasion, the report indicated that a deal could not be agreed to satisfy Chelsea, but having struck a deal for Kenedy since then the relationship between the two parties may be better and make a move for Abraham smoother.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Then, Abraham was hot property having set the Championship alight with Bristol City, but his loan spell at Swansea has been less convincing. Having scored just five goals and registered three assists in 39 appearances for the Swans, Abraham has made only two Premier League starts in 2018 as doubts continue to emerge about his ability at this level.

What is clear is that he is not ready to walk into Newcastle and be the solution that Benitez needs. In part, that is because Abraham would not be an alternative to the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, impressing in the second tier himself now, or Slimani, given that whilst he is tall and physical, his game is about much more than simply being a target man.

The Newcastle boss is clearly looking for a way to add goals to his team, but Abraham, whilst promising, may not be ready for such pressure after a frustrating season in difficult circumstances in south Wales and would be a cheap gamble if Newcastle were to opt for him as their main addition up-front.

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Isaac Christie-Davies joining Liverpool highlights Anfield as the ideal platform for youngsters

Josh Kerr

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Isaac Christie-Davies
Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool are set to sign Chelsea midfielder Isaac Christie-Davies on a free transfer, according to reports from ESPN.

The 20-year-old talent was not offered a new contract by Chelsea and the Reds swooped in earlier this year to offer him a trial ahead of other interested clubs.

If the move goes through, Christie-Davies will become the second young player, after Dominic Solanke, to join the Reds from Chelsea in just two years.

Davies joined Chelsea’s academy from Brighton and progressed from the youth ranks to the under-23s, winning the FA Youth Cup in 2015 and 2016 as well as the UEFA Youth League in 2016.

The teenager impressed during his trial period at Liverpool with the Merseyside outfit set to offer him a contract.

The youngster will look to his former Chelsea teammate and World Cup Golden Ball winner Solanke for inspiration, who finally showcased his talents in his previous outing at Anfield.

(Photo by Paul Ellis/Getty Images)

The 20-year-old striker finally notched his first senior goal for the Reds against Brighton on the final day of the Premier League, when the England international rifled a shot just under the bar to break his Reds duck.

The move for Christie-Davies represents yet another promising player trading London for Merseyside, and it could be Liverpool taking advantage of further academy talents.

Christie-Davies is likely to head straight into the Liverpool Under 23 squad as he follows the path of former teammate Solanke to Anfield.

Despite the youngster being unlikely to influence the first team next season it still could prove to be a nice bit of business from the club.

Although it was Chelsea’s decision to let the former Brighton youngster leave Stamford Bridge, Davies will look to the likes of former Blues, Solanke and Rhian Brewster as inspiration that it is still possible to reach the top.

Liverpool’s under 23’s finished 2nd in Premier League 2 this season, and standout players such as Harry Wilson even endured successful loan moves in the Championship, which could be the motivation Davies needs to make the grade at Anfield.

Also, the fact Liverpool quickly gambled on the midfielder reflects the qualities that are evidently present with Christie-Davies. If the youngster makes the most of his new move he could be another former Blue to thrive from a London exit.

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Mauricio Pochettino would be mad to leave Tottenham for Chelsea

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There could be one of the most sensational managerial switches of the Premier League era if Sky Sports are to be believed as they claim that Chelsea are pondering over making a move for Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino to replace Antonio Conte after a disastrous attempt at a Premier League title defence.

The Italian’s days are clearly numbered and his departure after the FA Cup final this weekend looks inevitable, but Mauricio Pochettino would be making a serious mistake if he were to take the opportunity to move to Stamford Bridge.

After four years in the dugout, at both White Hart Lane and Wembley Stadium, Pochettino has got his team playing his way. The Argentine has always worked under limited resources, at Espanyol, Southampton and even now at Spurs, and whilst the offer of money to spend at Chelsea may be exciting it would also mean an increased responsibility and a very different challenge.

(during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium on May 13, 2018 in London, England.

Tottenham fans and board have complete faith in their coach and are prepared to invest in him to take their club to the next level, something which will come soon with the building of their new stadium, and feel that he is the right man to lead the club in the long-term.

A move to a club with such a short term view in the form of Chelsea would be to sacrifice all that Pochettino has achieved in his spell in north London to date, bringing through young talents like Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier who are now beginning to reach their peak and shine under the coach.

With stability at a club on the up, Pochettino would be foolish to be distracted by the bright lights and glamour of a dysfunctional club like Chelsea.

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