Premier League

Matt Le Tissier: Ryan Bertrand is starting to lose his dynamism

For a lot of Southampton fans, the area of their squad that they would like to see strengthened this summer is surely in attack. 

Up front, Danny Ings, Shane Long and Charlie Austin have all had their struggles for different reasons while out wide, Mohamed Elyounoussi has just not been able to come up with the goods.

For one former Southampton player, though, defence is also of equal concern going into next season.

“I think we need one or two centre-backs and probably I’d expect another left-back,” Matt Le Tissier told the Daily Echo. “I think in the last couple of seasons Ryan hasn’t been as dynamic as he was in the first seasons he was here.

“I think Matt [Targett] has struggled a little bit if I’m honest in that position. I am not sure whether he is a long-term replacement for Ryan in that left-back role.”

Looking back, it is certainly fair to say that Bertrand’s level has dipped a bit, with injuries playing their part. Indeed, he was unable to register an assist in the season just gone despite recording 4 in the previous two campaigns, while his previous fairly steady record of 0.5 dribbles per game over the same period was down to 0.3 in 2018/19.

But even so, in this market and with the budget they’re working on, the Saints will find it hard to sign a better left-back than the 29-year-old.

Perhaps he has lost a bit of his dynamism, which is natural as he approaches 30. However, there are few full-backs in the Premier League who are as well rounded as him.

Over the years Bertrand has proven that he can defend, attack and has a wealth of experience at this level and higher; that will not be easy to replace.

Close to 30, it would not be crazy to see Ralph Hasenhuttl pursue a successor to Bertrand, especially if he is not completely sold on Targett like Le Tissier.

That being said, you cannot help but feel the England international still has a lot left in the tank.

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Matt Le Tissier: Ryan Bertrand is starting to lose his dynamism
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