Aston Villa have acquired the services of Chelsea full back Ryan Bertrand, with the defender joining Villa on loan until the end of the current season.
Bertrand has been unable to stamp his mark on Jose Mourinho’s first team set up this season, but has made just three appearances since the return of Mourinho.
He had been a first team regular at the Bridge for the last two seasons, making 50 appearances in the process, including the 2012 Champions League Final, as Chelsea triumphed in Europe.
However, he has found chances limited, hence the loan deal to the Midlands.
“Ryan brings a lot of big-game experience, not only in the Barclays Premier League but even a Champions League final which Chelsea won, so he’ll be really good for us.
“The way he plays the game and as a person, too, he’ll fit in here great and it will be good for him also to be playing games. He has real enthusiasm for the game and he’s looking forward to playing here.
“We’re grateful to Chelsea for allowing him to come here on loan and we know he’ll be really good to work with.”
Bertrand added: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to come here. Aston Villa is a fantastic club with a massive fanbase and a great history. To get this chance to come here and play some games will be a really good step for me.
“Whenever I’ve played for Chelsea here at Villa Park the fans have been fantastic and have always created a great atmosphere.
“I’ve had to adjust many times in my career having played under several managers, so I know I can settle in here quickly and I’m looking forward to being able to contribute to the team.
“This is a really traditional English club, a family club as well and you get the feeling that everyone really knows one another, so that side’s not been lost either.
“Knowing some of the lads here, too, such as Fabian Delph, Marc Albrighton and a few others will really help, too, and I couldn’t be more looking forward to playing my part here.”
Bertrand will bring defensive stability and relative experience to a youthful squad who have struggled for consistancy this season.
He could make his debut in Villa’s game at Anfield at the weekend, as the Villa take on Liverpool.
By Ben Reardon