Leicester City are close to completing the signing of Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand on a free transfer.
What’s the story?
According to Football Insider, the Foxes have agreed a deal with the 31-year-old, who will join up with Brendan Rodgers’ side when his contract expires on the south coast.
Leicester have reportedly seen off competition from fellow Premier League side Arsenal for Bertrand’s signature, and he’s set to become the first summer signing for the Midlands outfit.
Fans will be buzzing
The 2020/21 campaign was a mixed bag for Leicester. A maiden FA Cup victory marked another incredible footnote in the club’s recent history, but a final day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur saw them narrowly miss out on a Champions League qualification spot once again.
Rodgers has already started the rebuilding process, though, and the imminent arrival of Bertrand will surely have the club’s supporters buzzing.
Although the £70,000-per-week dynamo may not be the most glamorous name, acquiring his signature is just the latest astute move in the transfer market from the 2016 Premier League champions.
Several star names such as Boubakary Soumare and Odsonne Edouard have been linked with big-money moves to the King Power Stadium in recent weeks, and the purchase of a vastly experienced full-back like Bertrand on a free transfer will allow Rodgers to complete the more expensive deals in key areas of the pitch.
With more than 250 top-flight appearances to his name, the former Chelsea man should be a valuable addition to Leicester’s squad and solve their temporary left-back problem.
The highly-rated James Justin is set to be sidelined for some time yet after picking up a serious knee injury, and the departure of Christian Fuchs has left Rodgers needing competition and cover for 19-year-old Luke Thomas.
Therefore, Bertrand is a logical solution, and it’s clear that he’s still capable of producing top-class performances at the highest level after The Athletic’s Southampton reporter Dan Sheldon lauded his display against Manchester United back in July 2020.
“I thought Ryan Bertrand was absolutely superb. Everyone knows he’s a good player, but he almost goes unnoticed at times. I think that block he put in towards the end, that just epitomised the whole performance from a Saints perspective anyway, but I didn’t even notice Mason Greenwood,” said Sheldon.
Bertrand’s impending signing may not make huge headlines this summer, but it’s another piece of clever business from Leicester, and Foxes fans will surely be delighted with his arrival.