Chelsea fans will have no trouble telling you, through gritted teeth and widened eyes, that they have somewhat of a problem when it comes to pushing their talented youth through the club system. In recent years, the Blues have developed a reputation as serial loaners, sending their prodigious talents far and wide under the guise of giving them first-team experience ahead of a bright glimmering of stardom at Stamford Bridge. It goes without saying that this plan isn't working, given that the...
It would be very unfair to discredit the performances of Marcos Alonso for Chelsea last season, but Bertrand is still clearly a better player than the Spaniard. Bertrand is arguably a more defensively disciplined player than Alonso, with bags of Premier League experience behind him.
Alonso has earned his place in Chelsea's squad after being a surprise hit in his first season at the club, but Bertrand would walk into a starting spot over the former Bolton Wanderers man.
Given Ashley Cole's rightful position as Chelsea's starting left-back for nine seasons at the club, Bertrand perpetually struggled to get a real sniff of first-team action for the club.
Always deemed as 'one for the future', Bertrand never suceeded in stepping out of Cole's shadow, and could see a return to his former club as an opportunity for redemption, and to show the club's hierarchy that they were wrong not to recognise his burgeoning talents.
When you think about Chelsea's historic 2012 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that Ryan Bertrand played a crucial role in the Blues' famous triumph.
Playing as a left-winger, in-front of Ashley Cole, the Blues effectively used two left-backs in an attempt to keep their former star Arjen Robben at bay. Bertrand battled terrifically, proving that he is capable of performing in pressure situations on the biggest stage.
Chelsea currently have just three homegrown players among their first-team ranks - Cesc Fàbregas, Victor Moses and Gary Cahill.
With the likes of Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Todd Kane leaving the club on loan this summer, the Blues are going to need to really scrape the bottom of the reserves barrel to meet the quota of eight homegrown players required by the Premier League.
Signing Bertrand would give Chelsea an instant, quality boost in meeting the quota.
With 14 international caps to his name, Bertrand has shown himself to be a fine option for England, and was a member of the Three Lions' squad for Euro 2016.
Again, Bertrand has been made to wait for his chance, with Spurs' Danny Rose the first-choice England starter at left-back. Bertrand has seized his chance for England, playing himself into Gareth Southgate's good books with a string of excellent performances.
Bertrand's international experience makes him an ideal candidate to rejoin the Blues.
Wing-backs are crucial to Antonio Conte's style of play, and Bertrand is a model example of the relatively modern position. Defensively disciplined yet more than capable of marauding up the wings, Bertrand could be an ideal fit in Conte's set-up.
Bertrand has proved this in his roles for Southampton and England - operating as a resolute defender in the former, and as a dangerous option powering forward in the latter.
Once a Blue, always a Blue.
There's no doubt that Bertrand would be welcomed back to Stamford Bridge with open arms. Now a fully matured, 28-year-old player in his prime, Bertrand has earned his Premier League stripes.
The fans who backed him in his early days at the club would love to see him given the chance to prove himself at Stamford Bridge.