Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand is yet to make his first appearance under Ralph Hasenhuttl having been suffering from a back injury since the Austrian took charge last month, but now he is back in training he has given his manager a massive decision to make with Matt Targett filling in well in recent weeks.
The quality of the 29-year-old is not in doubt even if his performances – like those of many of his teammates – haven’t been up to the standard they once were in the previous couple of seasons especially, and man who was Saints skipper under Mark Hughes looks to be ideally suited to the type of full-back or wing-back that the 51-year-old wants in his starting XI.
Hasenhuttl prefers players with speed that can break forward but obviously have the minerals and endurance to get back as well, and the England international ticks both of those respective boxes, as well as having the ability to get to the byline and cross the ball back which will surely appeal.
That said the former RB Leipzig coach has shown a real affiliation with his younger players since succeeding Hughes, with the likes of Jan Bednarek, Kayne Ramsay, Yan Valery and Michael Obafemi starting matches when some of their more senior teammates have also been available.
Targett has had his ups-and-downs since coming into the side, where he has often struggled for pace and from a positional sense, but also produced some brilliant deep crosses like the one Danny Ings scored from in the win against Arsenal.
Hasenhuttl would probably be going against his principles by picking Bertrand over Targett in that regard, but the former is significantly quicker than the latter and is stronger defensively and in the final third, and when you lay it out like that the decision is a no-brainer.
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