Southampton were handed a big boost earlier this week as Spanish midfielder Oriol Romeu committed to a new contract with the South Coast club, but the Saints must not rest on their laurels and should now prioritise extending Ryan Bertrand’s contract.
The defensive midfielder’s contract had been set to extend at the end of this campaign but has now signed on till the end of the 2023 season (per Southampton).
It means that of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first-team regulars, only Bertrand’s contract is set to expire at the end of the current season and Saints should do everything they can to ensure that he doesn’t depart on a free transfer next summer.
The 31-year-old joined Southampton from Chelsea in February 2015 and has been a regular for the Saints in his five-and-a-half years with the club; making 214 appearances, in which he has contributed eight goals and 19 assists (per Transfermarkt).
Bertrand has been a regular for Hasenhuttl’s side so far this season, having appeared in seven of their eight Premier League fixtures thus far, in which he has averaged a solid, if unspectacular, 6.68 rating (per WhoScored).
The former England international picked up an injury in Villa’s recent win against Aston Villa and it is unknown when he is going to return, which could be a big blow for the South Coast club, as other than Bertrand, they have just 20-year-old Jake Vokins currently available as a natural left-back in their squad.
This suggests that left-back is not a position which Hasenhuttl has a lot of options in, so the club must ensure they are not left short-handed next season if they let Bertrand depart on a free transfer.
Although he is now 31-years-old, the fact he has still been a regular in the Southampton side which has performed so well so far this season demonstrates that he still has the ability to play at the top level.
Reports last month suggested Danny Ings was set to sign a new long-term contract at St Mary’s, but with his deal running until 2022 currently, there are arguably bigger priorities.
Hopefully, after Romeu’s contract was sorted this week, the club will begin negotiations over a new contract for the £9.45 million-rated Bertrand in the near future.